Most of you are familiar with the rodeo event that local rodeos include sometimes, called “Mutton Bustin.” Mutton Busting, which is very similar to saddle bronc riding or bull riding, but for children, who ride sheep, appears to create a slight controversy among various crowds. In general, the age, height, and weight restrictions for Mutton Busting are limited to 5 or 6-year-olds weighing less than 60 pounds. And although safety precautions are strictly implemented, many parents and adults argue whether Mutton Busting borders on the act of child abuse.
We do know that every child is required to wear a helmet, and spurs are not allowed for the both the safety of the child and the animal. Also, in many cases parents are often asked to sign waivers to protect the rodeo from legal action, should any questionable injuries occur. The riders are close to the ground, and the sheep do not buck. Most children fall off the sheep in less than 8 seconds, but for those who hold on tight the longest, are small prizes, awards, and ribbons.
The parents and rodeo fans who support the Mutton Busting event agree that an event like this builds character. Generally, the children who participate in such an event are doing it because they want to and usually find a sense of pride and satisfaction after their big moment of shooting out into the arena, trying to emulate their favorite rodeo star. Many parents these days are so protective of their children that they try to prevent any chance that their child might experience failure, but we all know that, in life, we will undoubtedly fail at times.
The failed attempts to win do, in fact, build stronger character and the ability to manage future challenges. Perhaps, it’s the difference between folks that grew up in the city versus the country. City folks, who are not familiar with the sport of rodeo, tend to believe their child is put in danger when they ride some crazy little sheep, but country folks feel that is no different than the idea of a child playing a common sport. There is just as much possibility for children to get injured playing football, basketball, or even tennis.
The reality is that the majority of the time children do not get hurt when Mutton Busting. There are countless kids out there that love the rough and tumble fun of Mutton Busting, as well as the chance to win at something and be like the rodeo athletes they admire. Just as a parent either gives their child a choice to play basketball or, in essence, forces them to, risking that they might get injured, the parent or guardian is in the same position when it comes to Mutton Busting. Regardless, the Cowboy Lifestyle Network enjoys the opportunity to watch children do their thang and looks forward to enjoying the next Mutton Busting event!