It’s horses, trailers, angry bulls, dust, trying to beat the clock. It’s traveling around the nation, hearing the roar of the crowd. It's a rodeo!
Rodeo is full of action and excitement. It’s a sport that requires dedication and commitment. It also requires the right equipment that can last a long time and through the years. Rodeo-ers need saddles, chaps, tack and more, but all of this equipment needs to last through a multitude of rodeos and that’s why all of the equipment is made of leather.
While it may seem crazy to think of clothing as equipment, in the rodeo world it is. One of the clothing items that bull riders and bronc riders wear are chaps.
Chaps are leg coverings that are buckled on over pants with the integrated belt. However, chaps don’t have a seat like traditional pants. They are typically made from leather to protect the wearers’ legs from getting hurt.
The style that rodeo riders wear are called batwing chaps. They are a wide cut with a flare at the bottom and only have two to three fasteners around the thigh. This allows for more freedom and movement of the legs, which is perfect for a rodeo-er.
Riders wear the chaps to protect their legs while they are riding. The chaps are also loose enough for the riders to easily ride, mount and dismount the animal. The leather material is sturdy enough to protect, yet pliable enough for the rider to move.
Leather chaps are just one of the many leather things that rodeo-ers use on a daily basis.
In addition to leather chaps, rodeo participants need saddles. The ropers and barrel racers, and all other rodeo-ers that ride horses need a saddle.
Again, this particular piece of equipment needs to last, but be flexible. This need is fulfilled by using leather to craft and build saddles. The leather material allows for comfort for the rider and the horse, but it is strong enough to last several uses.
Many different parts of the saddle are made from leather. This includes the seat and horn. Each is covered with a different type of leather, but leather all the same.
Rodeo-ers spend many hours in a saddle, practicing and performing. Their saddle needs to be perfect and comfortable. It needs to fit them and the horse so they can quickly mount and dismount as needed. The saddle needs to be the right fit!
Once again leather proves to be the perfect material for the saddle for many reasons. And trust us, we know leather and we know saddles!
On top of the clothing and saddles that rodeo-ers use and wear, the tack, meaning bridles and reins, are constructed from leather too. Riders who need reins and bridles to control the horse, typically use leather to make the tack. All because it’s a durable material.
A bridle is the “harness” that goes around the horse’s head. It’s usually adjustable so it can fit a variety of horses. Bridles are made from leather because it’s pliable and comfortable for the horse. They have a smooth and kind of soft feel on their face because of the leather, versus a rough surface.
Reins are basically strips of leather that run through the bridle. They are used to direct and guide the horse. Rodeo-ers use them to guide the horse around the arena as needed. Similar to the bridle, reins are made from leather because of the comfort of the material. The leather is flexible enough to slack the reins and tighten them based on what the rider wants the horse to do.
The tack that a rodeo-er uses rounds out the set up, but again, it’s made from leather. All because of its durability and flexibility.
It’s very apparent that rodeo participants are surrounded by leather. They use it almost everyday, at every rodeo and beyond. The equipment they use day in and day out and even their clothes are crafted of leather.
It’s horses, trailers, dust, angry bulls. It’s a roaring crowd, it’s hitting the road late at night, it’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle that is surrounded by leather. It’s the crazy world of rodeo!