The Rodeo Mafia claims that their bucking horses are rank and mean, and "born to buck." Its all a lie -- hype and propaganda for a billion dollar industry based on cruelty and cover-ups.
The foundation of the bucking events is the buck strap, also known as a flank strap. Once a horse is moved into a bucking chute, the buck strap is loosely fitted around the flank area like a belt. A contestant gets on the horse and prepares to ride. In the chute, the bucking horse may be shocked, have her mane or tail pulled, her face slapped, or be stabbed with sharp objects, all to irritate and anger her before she is further abused by the bucking strap and spurs.
At the contestant's nod, the chute gate is opened. At the same time a person behind the chute pulls on the buck strap, tightening it around the horse's very sensitive flank area. This is similar to grabbing a very sensitive nerve area of a human being. Just as a person would instinctively fight to escape the tormenting grip, so does the horse fight and buck in a futile attempt to escape the buck strap.
Some rodeo opponents claim the buck strap goes over a horses genitals. This is not true. Regardless, the buck strap is a hated torment for a horse.
The bucking events cannot be held without the buck strap. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania banned the use of the buck strap over a decade ago, and the town hasn't had a rodeo since. The buck strap is as vital to the Rodeo Mafia as it is cruel and tormenting to the horse.
The horse usually does not stop bucking until one of two "pickup men" rides alongside the horse and flips a quick-release mechanism on the flank strap. The horse will usually stop bucking immediately.
The Rodeo Mafia claims their horses love to buck. Horses do occasionally buck for fun or to defend themselves, but that's not what happens in the rodeo. "Bucking horses" are abused animals.
The second half of the equation is electricity. Rodeos use electrical prods to make the tame horses appear more wild. You can read more about the electrical prod here. SHARK has documented countless rodeos and stock contractors using electricity to try and anger the horses. Including at the PRCA National Finals in Las Vegas, NV when our cameras filmed Charles Soileau, Vice Chairman of the Board of the PRCA, as he covertly shocks some horses to make them perform. And continuing right up to the December 2012 NFR when the PRCA was still secretly shocking the horses they claim are "born to buck."
Watch the video clips and see for yourself.