The most scared I’ve been…..on the back of a bull, just prior to the chute gate opening. Did you know….the bull rider ‘alone’ decides when the man holding the rope attached to the gate….swings it open?
The bull rider, is focused (as much as possible) upon the spot just in front of his hand holt. That is the most stable part of the bull. Wherever that spot goes…so goes the bull. That spot leads the way.
All the world disappears…….nothing else matters. If one is focused upon any other element of life…..out of focus….his chances of staying on the back of the bull exponentially diminish.
At age 45….my brother-in-law, Steve, said he wanted to check, “Ride a bull”, off his ‘Bucket List.” I went online and found a “buckout” in Tooele, Utah. A “buckout” is where, in the off-season, bull riders (both professional an amateur) can pay a stock contractor to ride a bull. They run them into a chute, at an arena, and you get on and hang on a long as you can. When we walked through the door, I got the ‘vibe’, “I’m riding tonight”. I’d ridden about 165 head back in high school, but that was 27 years ago. Was I nuts…or was there one more ride in me? I’d brought all my old gear for Steve to use….and figured I’d just use it as well. When I got on the bull, I lasted about 3.2 seconds (maybe). I know I couldv’e lasted longer…..but I’d forgotten. I’d forgotten that to stay on a bull…I had better want “IT” more than anything else in the world. One has to forget all else but staying on. If there is the least bit of doubt, uncertainty, fear…..you’ll end up as nothing more than a yard dart. Sometimes a rider will start looking for a place to land before the chute gate opens…bad sign of things to come.
Fun things to Google about ‘bull riding’. Why do bull riders use rosin on their ropes? How to wrap a hand in a bull rope. Why are bells used when riding a bull? In bull riding, what is a “suicide wrap.”
Note: I was sculpting in a gallery one year and a man comes in and hands me a photo. He say’s, “You may be inspired to sculpt this one day.” I held onto the photo for about 4-5 years and then couldn’t hold back any longer…he knew! The man was Dale Denherder and his bull, “Whiskey’s Rebel,” was in the PBR.