Instead of a saddle, a double-thick leather pad, called a rigging, is cinched on the bronc's back.
No stirrups or reins are used in the event. To qualify, the rider must mark the horse out of the
chute by keeping his spurs over the break of the shoulders until the first jump out of the chute is completed.
The bareback rider will be disqualified if he touches the animal or equipment with his free hand or
if he is bucked off before the eight-second ride is completed.
No other event in professional rodeo is as physically demanding as bareback riding.
Using only one hand, the cowboy must hold onto the leather handhold of the rigging which is
customized to snugly fit to the rider's grip.
The rider tries to spur the horse on each jump, reaching as far forward as he can with his feet and
then bringing his ankles up toward the rigging.
It's the bareback rider's arm that takes all the stress as it absorbs most of the horse's bucking power.
While his arm endures this incredible tension, his hand must remain intact within the rigging's
handhold for the full eight seconds. (CPRA)