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Probullstats Blog

Jan 29, 2024, 9:45 am

Riding Dummies

By: Bryan McDonald

----- reposted from Bryan's Facebook

Opportunities exist in pro rodeo for those bull riders who make getting to the whistle their job and go to work.

Attention guys who are getting on rank bulls but not riding many of them …. Time to make a change…

There is great opportunity in pro rodeo if guys will go to work and be smart… learn how to enter…when to be up… and frequent the herds where statistically they have the best chance of riding what they draw.

Use the Buddy System with some established guys. Lots of young NFR qualifiers did that. All they had to do was crawl in the back seat of a big old Bullmobile 4 door and ride whatever they ran under them.

In fact before there were limits even some world champs and NFR guys had moms and wives and girlfriends who had figured out PROCOM and PRCA (Ranch Headquarters) rules and fines. They did the entering and made all the calls. Plotted the runs. Found out when the good bulls were out. Put the pencil to travel cost versus payoff etc. All the guys had to do was show up and ride.

Actually if you rodeo pretty much full time it works itself out. You get on all types of bulls under all types of conditions. Less pressure more fun… more freedom and if you work at your craft and get good — a longer career and more money in the long run.
While not a perfect achievement system, it has an attainable goal of the National Finals Rodeo — which can be reached by many different types of bull riders who figure out a strategy that fits their regular life. Depending on your ability and the luck of the draw some guys can make the NFR getting on at 100 rodeos. Others 50 or even less.

In most rodeo herds the luck of the draw is a big factor. It drives the elite guys nuts because they know if the herds are uniform buckers they will prevail most of the time. For everyone else the luck of the draw is the great equalizer. You go and ride what you have drawn and you might win something because 3/4 of the enterers either turn out or ride a dud or can’t get by an out of line bull that bucks off-script — or buck off one that is above their ability.

You can rodeo full time. Or you can enter the big ones and if you hit a lick then make an NFR run. Some circuits have so many good rodeos that guys can work a job and still win enough to make an NFR run. Taking home a couple thousand bucks just weekend rodeoing can really help a young family. You can also change your strategy at any time if you need to get ahead of someone in the world standings.

Rodeo bull riding is a blue collar environment. You do or you don’t. It is a JOB — not a strutting about smoke filled venues with explosions and lights flashing —imitating a bull rider — acting gig.
“Bull riding isn’t something I DO… it is something I AM”.
I’ve said it … been quoted saying it… even thought it to be the truth. Macho …Macho Man. That’s stupid.

Time to get REAL… riding bulls for a living is only possible for a few and even for them it lasts maybe 10 years. It must be your JOB not a bungee jumping — Evil Knievel adrenaline rush.
Go to work. Invest in your future one bull at a time. Start winning. Get your confidence back.

Instead of agonizing for days over a less than stellar performance — watching video over and over and imagining what you THINK other people are saying about you —learn from it and move on.
In rodeo you are usually up or driving somewhere the next day with a clean chalkboard to write your future on. You don’t have time to overthink things. Enter— go get on — try to make the whistle. Then do it again … and again. All night drives mitigate the nerves. Probably sore too.

The system will show you where you need to improve or let you know if you should scale back and get other things rolling outside the arena.

Time to make a change…

Careers are short now particularly if you subject yourself to a steady diet of rank bulls. Unless you ride that kind of bull with some degree of consistency you are just an extra on the movie set. The nerd trying to sit at the cool kid’s lunch table. But the risks are far higher for those who haven’t spent the time honing their craft — this isn’t one of those “fake it till I make it” deals.

You are not a robot. Getting slammed and failing over time re wires your brain to where you really CAN’T ride no matter how hard you try. And unfortunately for some that failure will adversely affect them for the rest of their lives. It’s okay to put bull riding aside and get on with your life. There is no team owner or coach to tell you that you need to be doing something else. Man up if you need to quit. But if not …

You cannot continue to buck off…

Time to make a change…

Put yourself in position to WIN.

Historically NFR guys got on 100-200 bulls a year and many rode for more than a decade. They faced rank bulls but not every time they nodded. Many rode 75-85% and made a living. Other guys (like Lane and Jim and Tuff) rode 90-95% and won the world.
No matter what they tell you or how much smoke they blow up your cute little butt or how much your out of whack ego has made you believe — unless you can ride and win you are just the bull riding dummy strapped on a bulls back whose purpose is to make other people money.

Literally a riding DUMMY….

Used to be you might be done at 35 and now …. unless you smarten up — maybe 25… or 22…

Time to make change …