Rodeo fans know that a bull rider wraps his hand in his rope then nods for the chute to open. What confuses some people is the other rope, the strap wrapped around the bull right in front of his flanks.
The flank strap is a length of padded rope. Its purpose is to encourage the bull to kick. Without the annoying flank strap, the bull would run around the arena, not remain in one area trying to rid himself of the cowboy and flank strap.
How It's Used
The flank strap is slipped onto the bull when it enters the alley to the bucking chute. The slack is taken out of it just prior to the ride, but it's not pulled so tight as to injure the animal and is removed immediately after the ride.
Bull riding novices sometimes think the flank strap is tied around the bull's genitals. This would adversely affect the animal's performance and result in injury. Many champion bucking bulls are worth more than $50,000. Stock contractors don't risk injury to their investments.
When a bull is attacked, the predator strikes at the bull's flank to disable it. This natural instinct is the reason the flank strap is so successful at encouraging the bulls to buck higher.
The rider hangs onto the front, or bull rope, during his ride. A bell is attached at the bottom of the rope for weight so the bull rope falls off with the cowboy or when he releases the bull rope.
- Photo Credit bucking bull image by Clarence Alford from Fotolia.com bucking bull 2 image by Jim Parkin from Fotolia.com bull closeup image by Clarence Alford from Fotolia.com
What Makes a Rodeo Bull Buck?
Bull-riding may be the most renowned rodeo event, and it even has its own specialized professional tour, the Professional Bull Riders tour....
How Is a Flank Strap Used?
A flank strap is a leather or nylon strap, or soft rope, which is wrapped around the flanks of a bull or...
How to Rosin a Bull Rope
In preparation for a good eight second tournament between bull and rider, a well-rosined bull rope and glove will create a tacky...
How to Raise Bucking Bulls for Rodeos
For eight seconds a bucking bull leaps and twists in the arena, attempting to shed his rider before the whistle sounds. Bucking...
How to Build a Bucking Barrel to Practice Bull Riding
Bull riders have long used a bull barrel to simulate the actions of a bucking bull for practice. With the explosive growth...