The bulls in rodeos are so mean

Surely that is due to abuse? Why do they hate people so badly?

I would think they could be trained to be friendly but they just hate people

You had it right the first time out of the gate.

I don’t think that’s the whole story. Bulls are by nature aggressive dangerous critters. Even cows sometimes are. Then you take these bulls and torment them in the rodeo (that’s what the picadors do) and they get really mad.

Bulls and cows that are constantly around humans from birth can be quite tame. If they are raised in pastures, their natural instincts are to be skittish, protective and aggressive. Bulls are aggressive to almost anything, not just humans. If 2 bulls are in close proximity to each other and there are cows around, there will be a fight and it will be vicious. Barbed wire fences don’t stand a chance when bulls fight.

Picadors are in bull fighting, not rodeo. And I dunno, I’ve hung out with rodeo critters before and most of them are just as susceptible to a nice treat as any other critter. They don’t dig people tying a big scratchy rope around their ball area and they don’t like being ridden–outside of that, quite a few of them in my experience were perfectly reasonable and seemed to understand being “off the clock.” I think some of the older ones kinda get into it and really improve their bucking game over time. I’ve known some donkeys who were like that too.

Well, they are wearing a flank strap to encourage bucking. The old jokes about how friendly you would be if you has a tight strap between your cock and balls still apply. Once the bull rider is off his back and the flank strap is removed they are just as bad- or good-tempered as any other bulls.

Since they are trucked to rodeos throughout the country and they are very valuable animals, a truly mean animal that attacked every human be saw would be a liability that no one would consider.

supposedly I’m told they’re sort of trained to be a normal cow until they get put in that chute and hear the starting horn … and once they hear the second horn and they run around for a few there back to normal old cow … and yeah having the boys in a knowt doesn’t help either

Ah yes. Rodeos. Where you and your boys make a competition out of violating consent. And clowns are used to calm the mood instead of…no, ok, in addition to…their usual creep factor.

Rodeo bulls are specially bred on ranches dedicated to this. They are very expensive animals and are treated as such. They work for seconds at a time, on weekends. The padded bucking strap is a trained cue, not a torment. They buck naturally, they are bred to do that.

All bulls can be, and often are, aggressive. All those country stories of being chased across a pasture by a bull? Those are true. Ranchers get hurt or killed by bulls on a regular basis. They are dangerous animals. Has nothing to do with ‘abuse’, believe me.

What Ulfreida said.

Top rodeo bulls live a pretty good life, overall. They are as carefully bred as any racehorse, and as well cared for. They have a job, they know what it is, and they know the routine.

If you watch enough, you’ll see bulls who don’t actually care about the strap or anything else until that chute opens - then they explode. The minute the rider is off they gallop off to their pen and a good night’s feed.

They are kept on a high octane diet though, and are full of testosterone. They are extremely territorial and don’t like anything but a cow in season in their space. They are not, as a rule, cuddly. Some can be, but that’s largely a matter of breeding. Temperament is definitely inheritable, and these guys are bred to be testy and opinionated.

An interesting episode of This American Life about the cloning of a bull and the ineffable differences between the temperaments of the two animals.

Well, someone has to ask it:

Was this your first rodeo?


Heh, not even. Just see them on TV and the cowboy falls and the bull still tries to kill him.

This. And the ones used on the pro circuits are extremely expensive.

So how do they behave without the strap on their genitals?

As a child I spent summers on a farm and have been chased by a bull while I was crossing the pasture. Fortunately the bull was chained to a spike driven deep into the ground and was stopped short before running me down.

Reminds me of an interview I saw with a guy (forgot his name) who was the national champion bullrider for that year. Best quote:
“People tell me I have a tough job, but I don’t really think so. I mean, I sat down and counted it up: I worked 18 minutes last year.”

Like other bulls. Unpredictable and dangerous. They just don’t buck. Also, the strap really isn’t around their genitals, more like around their ‘waist’. Their balls are farther back and the penis is farther forward.

Talk about “exploited workers”! All they get is food and a pen to live in while the humans make money and gain fame from their sweat off their brows, so to speak. I find myself always rooting for the bulls.