Good Bull Bad Bull- Nice Bull Mean Bull
So there I am minding my own rosin trying to go through my ride and figure out why a jump kicker bucked me off when I am approached by some new(er) bull riders. They approach with hands extended and I return the favor with 3 firm handshakes and we all begin small talk. We were not complete strangers as I have seen these young gunslingers behind the chutes before , the topic of discussion was purely bullriding. We went through everything from rowels, rosin, blocks, tail size and how to ride em when they spin out of your hand. This conversation went on for a good 45 minutes, but then it came to screeching halt when I asked if they were going to the other rodeo that was in Ontario that weekend.
I simply asked these future champs if they were going and what section they were all in. They simply answered with “Ya we don’t get on those bulls” I looked at them with surprise on my face because we had just got done a 45 minute conversation about how all they wanna do is ride bulls. So I park my surprise and quick witted comebacks and simply ask “Why”?
They simply reply with “Well those bulls are young and crazy”
I told you that story to bring you to my point and the title of this entry. If you straight up want to ride bulls and be a champion you have got to be willing to get on anything and everything. Whether the bull is that old campaigner or that young hot calf who does back flips in the chutes, you gotta learn to see past the fear and nod your head. Both of those bulls can injure you very seriously.
I was further upset by these young fellas when I asked if they had ever even seen these so called “crazy bulls” buck at all, they quickly answered me with their heads down and looking at the dirt and said “well no we haven’t seen them buck , we were just told that they are crazy”
This seems to be a trend as of late in Ontario in terms of bull riding. Now in the rookies defense the science behind the bucking bull industry as evolved into something amazing. Now I say “evolved” because that is simply what is going on here. You cant really blame a guy/girl for breeding super bulls when top prize for World Champion Bull is a huge amount of Benjamins if you get my drift, and when you have super bull riders like JB Mauney who can be 95 points on any given night you’d be silly not to breed super bulls.
But back to the trend in Ontario lets just clear the air so everyone doesn’t get the wrong idea , I am in no means calling these guys pussies or don’t think they will go anywhere with bullriding. But bottom line you have to be willing to climb on anything they run underneath ya. Of course you can get hurt this is bull riding princess not ping pong a lot can go bad very fast.
I am reminded of a trip that I took to Adrian Michigan with two other very accomplished Ontario bullriders. We were still to young to shave at the time and we were invited to the arena in Adrian to jump on some hot young bull calves. The owner of the arena Doug, had called us because he knew us Canadians were crazy enough to jump on anything. So there we was behind the chutes fixing to jump on some new bulls for free, free practice? Darn shooting it was free so of course we jumped all over the opportunity. After getting on a couple of times each we quickly realized that we were the only ones getting on. Even though there was like 30 bull riders watching us but they weren’t having anything to do with these young bulls. Every single bull tried flipping over in the chutes , tried killing us , tried hooking us with their horns and we hadn’t even left the bucking chutes yet. Once it was time to ride, these bulls had zero rhythm but man oh man did they ever buck. Once we hit the ground they were already on top of us hooking us again and chasing us up panels. Only three of us got on that night and we ripped through a pen of 25 young hot bull calves. We came in doing it for free and because we stuck it out and tried them all we were given 40 bucks from the Stock Contractor for dinner. We left that arena beat up, limping, our bullriding gear was mangled, we could barely move and had to get a friend drive us to the hotel. We did not care about being 90 points or how much we would make the only thing we cared about was getting on. To this day it is still one the more memorable nights I have ever had bull riding, and I am proud to say that one of the bulls we got on went on to buck at The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
So yes the bulls are much ranker now as oppose to back in the day. But through my years riding bulls I have been seriously injured by both old and young bulls. The bigger issue here regarding the bullriders mentioned earlier is the attitude they have will only further cripple their rodeo careers because they will not want to travel anywhere else to ride bulls. There are great bucking bulls everywhere all over North and South America don’t let a few chute fighters discourage you or hinder your bullriding future.
Let Er Buck