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Immense physical stress is placed on the arm and back, and bareback riders face more long term injuries, such as elbow and lower back problems, than other rough-stock cowboys. Sheer strength isn’t all that’s required. A bareback rider is judged on his spurring technique, the degree to which his toes remain turned away from the horse throughout the ride and his “exposure,” or willingness to lean far back and take whatever may come during a ride. The horse’s bucking action also contributes half a rider’s score.