Ever since the first wild horse
was lassoed and tamed, there has been continuous
debate about which rider rode longest and which horse
bucked the best.
The tradition goes back 150 years, when the
earliest competitions were scattered across the
western United States, at Fourth of July celebrations
and later on during trail drives to northern markets,
Bronc riding is a thriving sport today, but now its
home is in the arena of professional rodeo.
Belly Full of Bedsprings traces
the history of bronc riding, and its evolution into a
sport, from those early days in the American West to
the current pro-rodeo circuit.
Woerner examines the development of rodeo
competition and the changes that have evolved
specifically in the bronc riding event:
the move from open corrals to chutes, the
development of the ideal saddle, the introduction of
bareback riding, changes in timing and judging events,
increasing purses and sponsorship, the organization of
unions, providing safety gear, and bringing the cowboy
into the twenty-first century with computer
are tales to evoke laughter and tears, including the
incredible (but hilarious) transportation problems
early riders had, as well as the tragic injuries
incurred by both horses and cowboys.