Visit with a rodeo buff and you might find yourself stumped by their
specialized words and phrases. Rodeo's jargon is most conspicuous in bull riding. Here's a key to some of that language:
Back door: A desperation move a rider makes to return to a position of control.
Dink: A dink is a dud, an undesirable bull that will not kick.
Hammer cocked: A rider who has his or her hammer cocked is in a state of high awareness, full of information about the bull, wholly ready for that particular animal.
Off your rope: A bull that sends you off your rope makes you slide back and out of position. The rider wants to get back to his rope, back in position.
Rank: A way of describing an animal that is tough and likes to buck, that is dangerous, electric, showy, among the top 3 percent in the pen.
Strung out: A rider who is strung out is stretched out, not square, not in position, run off the rope.
Suitcased: A rider who gets suitcased lands on head and shoulders, gets toes slammed beside ears, bent into a suitcase shape.
Whipped down: To be whipped down is to be slammed forward deliberately by the animal, often resulting in a head-to-head impact.
Well: A well is an empty spot, a dangerous location too far inside the bull's spine. A bull can be "welly," adept at dislocating a rider into the well, or "welling," deliberately creating a well to trap and displace a rider.
Western: That which is western is exciting, high-voltage, out of control.
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The rodeo season is upon us, and the sport is alive and kicking (literally) in the Inland Northwest. In Cheney, Omak, Lewiston, Worley and elsewhere, you can see ropers, riders, queens and clowns flinging limbs and eating dust in matches