Why Don't We Ride Bison?

We were talking with a customer the other day and they asked if we ever rode a bison. In short, the answer is no, and we also never suggest attempting to ride a bison for a multitude of reasons seen below.


Riding Bulls and Horses

Riding horses and bulls is common nationwide for a variety of reasons. Horse riding has been well documented since early times all over the world, and it’s not uncommon to ride a horse for hunting, social activities, or even to relax. Bull riding is equally as old as horse riding, and some bulls are extremely gentle, while others, like bucking broncos, are dangerous.


Both horses and bulls can be dangerous if wild, not handled correctly, get spooked, etc. For instance, with a horse, you can fall from a tall height and at a high speed. Hospital data in Australia shows that 6 workers are hospitalized every 5 days due to a horse-related injury, and 75% of those injuries were due to a fall. As you can imagine, this statistic jumps up a bit when reviewing bull injuries as 32.2 bull injuries occurred per 1000 competitor exposures.



Bull Versus Bison

Some people have never seen either a bison or cattle, so to the untrained eye, they may look the same from a distance. Cattle, while they may not be safe, are largely domesticated and live on farms. They often have farms or shelters to protect them during the winter, and depending on the farm type they are fed and milked by farmers.


A bull (bucking bronco), which you may see in a bull-riding contest, is typically a crossbreed of different types of bulls that are very large and are bred for their bad temperament (see reference below). They look big like bison but do not have a shaggy coat, and their horns are often not as pronounced as bison.


Why Bison Are Not Ridden

Even as a trained bison farmer, we would run from a bison or bull. Both can be extremely dangerous animals even if they’re just playing as they may not realize their strength compared to ours. Bison definitely have the muscle to support a human, but they are not safe. Bison are not domesticated, and they are extremely territorial. We love our bison, and we recognize that they are strong, powerful creatures. Bison show several signs when they’re angry, and we would not want to attempt to ride them for this reason.


Contact JJ Bison on the web, email us at meat@jjbison.com, or call us at (443) 252 - 2099 to order your bison today!


Reference:

Curnutt, Jordan (2001), "Animal entertainment: Rodeo", Animals and the Law: A Sourcebook, ABC-Clio.