I figured since you were all appropriately outraged about horse tripping and those that support it, we should take a look at buckaroos. To be honest, I grew up thinking that `buckaroo’ was just a stupid term for cowboy that city people might use. I certainly wouldn’t have considered calling anyone that unless I was wanting to offend them in some way. Kind of like calling somebody a `dude’ used to be a dead insult once upon a time. Well, it turns out I was both right and wrong. Buckaroo is a real term and is still alive and well in the Great Basin country of northern Nevada, southern Idaho, northeast California and southeast Oregon. A buckaroo is basically an Americanized version of Vaquero and they consider themselves to be horse and cattlemen. I still don’t think being called a `buckaroo’ is much of a compliment. I’m sure this entry will cause a certain amount of outrage, especially amongst the PSA crowd. There are many of them that think buckaroos are super cool and awesome. I mostly think that many buckaroos are just great big douchebags for the way they treat animals. At least the ones we’re going to talk about today are.
One of the first things that comes to mind with buckaroos is their look. They all have a very specific look for both themselves and their horses. Flat hats, chink chaps, A-fork saddles with post horns and bucking rolls. Many of them favor a lot of silver and adornment on their tack as well. Their finished horses usually wear spade bits and I’ve yet to see a buckaroo or picture of one where they weren’t using some fairly sharp rowelled spurs. They wear their gear and clothing like a uniform. Other than their choices of spurs and bits, I don’t really have much issue if they all want to dress like that. It sure makes it easier identify them and run the other way when you encounter one. I know many attach a certain `romance’ to the buckaroo lifestyle and look. We all know a bit or spur is only as harsh as the user, and these guys have some fancy looking bits and spurs. Although, I still cannot wrap my mind around why anybody would ever feel the need to put a spade bit in a horse’s mouth these days, I might have been ok with them had I not dug a little further and found what a large number of them consider entertainment.
It seems our little buckaroo buddies are a bit like their charro counterparts in what they consider entertainment. Of course, it comes at the expense of horses and of course they are all mostly slaughter advocates. It seems that buckaroos like to host ranch rodeos when they aren’t out ripping the mouth out of their horses or punching holes in their sides. Ranch rodeos aren’t exactly what you see when you go to the Calgary Stampede or the NFR. Sure, they have the usual events like team roping, calf roping, barrel racing, bull riding, bronc riding, etc. Depending on how you feel about those sports, nothing out of the ordinary for a rodeo. However, they also have an event called Big Loop Horse Roping and it is truly disgusting.
Big loop horse roping shares a lot in common with Mexican rodeo. Probably not so surprising considering that the buckaroos evolved out of the vaquero culture. Where big loop roping differs from horse tripping is there are two ropers on horses. It’s a bit like an extremely barbaric version of team roping. They do the horse the courtesy of throwing a neck loop on it and slowing it down before the second roper fore-foots it and jerks the legs out from under it. I suppose this is how they get away from calling it tripping. The end result for the horse isn’t a bunch different from tripping though. Check out these videos of big loop roping: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v7djtzbckE) The next video has some extremely graphic scenes and was shot at the Jordan Valley Rodeo this year. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmp8pkbU03I)The buckaroos call this `laying them down’ rather than tripping. That’s supposed to make us feel better about what they’re doing. Here are the words from a PSA who pretty much lives and breathes this stuff:
“For untouched horses like this, the *real* buckaroo’s do a neck rope, ride along with the horse a bit until it slows, then throw a front footer. It’s safer and lays the horse down easy. Plus these horses were 3 year old’s that were in their 2nd and 3rd year of roping … NOT easy ropers! LOL They won more than the ropers did. I know of ranches that do this with their young stock to brand and geld them all the time.”
– That quote is from D-bag Duquette. Like their idol Crazyass Steve King, they will fight any proposed legislation that may protect animals from cruel and barbaric asstards. Considering he lives in Oregon, consorts with some of the people that do this type of thing, and the video footage is from THIS year, he’s just a big fat liar.
“The HSUS goal is to gradually pick away at owners’ rights to decide what is best for our horses and livestock, They hide their agenda behind pretty language about protecting animals. But we are finally starting to educate the public about what is behind the curtain. Oregonians are too smart to fall for the misleading HSUS rhetoric. Those of us who love horses, livestock and the Western lifestyle need to work together to preserve our heritage and the right to decide what is best for our animals.”
– naturally D-bag made this all about his mission against the HSUS. NOBODY that loves horses think this is cool to do and if this your way of life and heritage, you are an abusive shit. The reason we have to put laws in place is because people that do this type of thing have zero compassion or ability to know `what is best for our animals’. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised he says things like this considering he likes to host horse barbeques for his clients.
It is expected that Oregon lawmakers will be bringing this issue to the table in the next session and work towards a ban on this brutal `sport’. The PRCA has long outlawed it from their rodeos. Other than the underground charro circuit, it seems we have a small pockets of asstard hold-outs in the buckaroo community that need to find a better way of entertaining themselves. Keep checking in with the Animal Law Coalition for updates. (http://www.animallawcoalition.com/animal-cruelty/article/2042)
I grew up on a ranch and I do understand how ranch life works. I’ve participated in more brandings than I care to count. I can half-assed throw a loop if I’m pressed too. I come from a long line of horsemen, none of whom have ever been pro-slaughter. In fact, my great-grandfather could have been considered a buckaroo at least by the equipment he used, not by mentality. Don’t believe me? Meet Gramps…(pssst….his horse isn’t skinny either as NT would have you believe all the old-time ones were)
That picture was taken in the late 1800’s. He was actually a pretty well-known guy and is in many books. The bit and spurs are still in the family, but haven’t been used in my lifetime. They are probably too valuable to use for one thing, plus we don’t do things the old way anymore even though that particular bit does not have a cathedral port in it. That’s my point. My great-grandfather was a working cowboy if there ever was one. He was also a well-known horseman. Whatever it was he passed down through our family, it was to respect your animals, especially your horses. I sure don’t recall anybody ever throwing a rope at a horse, let alone tripping one. Before I was able to do so on my own, I saw countless horses started and never once did I see one thrown or laid down. I guess not all buckaroos would consider big loop roping part of their heritage. Times have changed and so has the way we handle our livestock. There is no reason to stress and traumatize any animal anymore. We have the means to be kinder. Here’s another `family’ picture of mine. My grandmother and her father engaging in something we don’t do anymore either. While I appreciate my heritage, I know that some things are better left in the past. Thankfully, most sane people do as well.