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Views #1381 | Beginner A2

Rodeo Rider

Sarah talks about rodeos and what it was like being in one as a woman.

John: So Sarah, I was wondering, what kind of sports do you like to play?

Sarah: Well, I love riding horses. And actually, when I was in college, I took a lot of classes about horseback riding. So I can do all sorts of sports on horseback.

John: Wow! That's amazing. Don't you think riding horses is scary?

Sarah: I think, it's part of the fun. For example, I used to be in the rodeo and I did a sport called saddle bronc riding. And the way you do this is they put the saddle on the horse and then they let the horse just go crazy. And the horse runs, and bucks, and tries to get you off, and you try to stay on.
And it's really scary but it's also really exciting.

John: Wow! That's what's called a bucking bronco, right?

Sarah: Yeah. And it's really hard to stay on. In fact, you win if you can stay on 8 seconds.

John: Oh, that doesn't seem very long.

Sarah: It's really, really long. When I was – it's really long when you're on the horse. My first time, I only stayed on about 4 seconds and then I fell off in the middle of ring and I got knocked out.

John: Whoa!

Sarah: Yeah. And the rest – yeah, and I had a big black eye for about two months.

John: Wow! From falling off a horse. That's why it seems scary. Isn't it really dangerous?

Sarah: It is. It is really dangerous. And they don't make you wear helmet or any safety gear. I didn't wear a helmet my first time. I think it was pretty stupid.

You start – so the horse starts in a metal cage. So the horse can't move. And then you sit on top of the horse, on the horse's back in the saddle. And then you say, I'm ready and they open the door. And the horse explodes and just starts jumping, and turning and twisting. And the horse did about three or four jumps and I fell off.

John: Wow! How many seconds did you make it?

Sarah: Three.

John: Three?

Sarah: Probably about 3 seconds.

John: So you would have to do that more than twice as long to win.

Sarah: Yeah. I got better at it, but I never could stay on for 8 seconds.

John: Did you try any other rodeo events?

Sarah: Yeah. I tried to do calf roping.

John: What's that?

Sarah: This is a sport where you have your horse and your horse is trained. It's not the wild horse from before. And there's a calf, and you try to throw your rope so that you catch the calf. And a calf is a baby cow.

John: Wow! And so, what do you have to do if you get your rope around the cow?

Sarah: Then you have to run up to the cow and you have to tie the cow's legs together. And when you finish tying the cow's legs together, the timer stops. So you want to do it as fast as you can.

John: That sounds really fun. And it doesn't sound as dangerous as the saddle bronc competition.

Sarah: No. It's not as dangerous. But after a while, I started to feel bad for the baby cow.

John: I see.

Sarah: It's just he's a small little baby and he's really scared, and he's trying to run away. And I started to feel bad about catching him with the rope and tying him up. So I stopped doing it.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

go crazy


The let the horse go crazy.

Here the phrase 'go crazy' means to be set free with no controls. This usually leads to wild behavior.

  1. At the beach I let my dog go crazy and run anywhere.
  2. After a rainy day, I let the kids outside to go crazy.



The horse runs and bucks.

When a horse bucks, it jumps and kicks it legs backwards.

  1. The horse bucks and threw the man off the saddle.
  2. A bucking horse can be dangerous.

knock out


I got knocked out.

When you are knocked out, you loose consciousness. Notice the following:

  1. The fighter was knocked out by the punch.
  2. The ball hit him in the head and knocked him out.

black eye


I had a big black eye.

A black eye is a big black, red or blue bruise from being hit in the face. Notice the following:

  1. He got in a fight and got a black eye.
  2. How did he get a black eye?

turn and twist


The horse starts turning and twisting.

When you turn and twist you move your body in many opposite directions. Notice the following:

  1. If you hug a cat it will turn and twist to get away.
  2. In yoga and break dancing, you must twist and turn.



I tried calf roping.

Here, roping means catching something by using a rope to catch it and tie it up. Notice the following:

  1. My grandfather knows how to rope cattle.
  2. The cowboys roped the bad guy.

Vocabulary Quiz

go crazy • bucking • knock out
black eye • twist • roping
  1. A bucking horse will turn and violently.
  2. Some people think calf - is cruel.
  3. She can ride a bronco.
  4. He got a when a rock hit him.
  5. On the weekend I let my hair down and .
  6. In boxing you try to your opponent.

Grammar Check! Choose the correct word forms. Listen as you play!

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