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Rodeo Reference Guide 

by Paul Lindholdt

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.

Publication date: 08/12/04

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