Pretty Tough rider Amanda McMillan is 16 year-old Colorado girl whose favorite sport is riding bulls at local rodeos and bull riding events. She has been doing so for about two years. Someday she hopes to compete full time in the sport at the professional level. Read what life is like for a teenage bull rider.
Rodeo and Bull Riding Camps or Schools provide an opportunity for students of all levels to learn about the sport. Most schools and/or camps offer drills and practice, as well as staff lectures, demonstrations, and review of the various aspects of the bucking chute procedure, riding skills, dismount techniques, etc. Students work with Bucking Stock that fits their age, experience, athletic ability and goals. Fourteen year-old Amanda attended the Jed Moore Bull Riding School in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Here’s her account of the three days.
Jed Moore’s Bullriding School
June 8th, 9th, and 10th 2006
Terry Bison Ranch
8:00 – 9:00 am: We met at the arena and had orientation. There were 15 people and I was the only girl. We formed teams and I was on the Green Team.
9:00 – 11:00 am: We did dry land drills which consists of ground work procedures and barrel work. Barrel work is where you sit on a barrel, that is somewhat like a bull and practice form. The procedures we practiced included sessions on how to handle the bull in the chute, what to do in the chute and how to move fast in the chute while doing everything right.
11:00 am – 1:00 pm: Lunch
Afternoon/Evening: When lunch was over we practiced chute procedures with an actual bull. The bull was really calm so no one would get hurt.
Once done with chute procedure we started to actually ride bulls. I got on four that day. Then we reviewed videotape of our rides and ate dinner. After dinner we had worship then went to bed.
7:00 – 8:00 am: Wake-up and breakfast.
Morning Workout: We worked out running and doing crunches till 9:30 am. Running builds your legs because bull riders have to have strong legs. We did crunches to help build our lower backs and our stomachs. To be a bull rider your lower back should be strong. After that we did dry land and barrel work till 11:00. Next, we got on bulls till 12:00 then ate lunch.
Afternoon/Evening: After lunch we got on more bulls. That day I got on six bulls total. We watched video replay then ate dinner. After dinner we had worship, free time, and went to bed.
7:00- 8:00 am Wake-up and breakast.
Morning Workout: We ran and worked out again. Next, we did barrel work then got on bulls. They brought in new stock to ride that was a lot more rank then the bulls the day before. It started raining, so we waited till it stopped and then had the chance to get on more bulls.
When we finished, we received our awards and I won five of them. I won the Dallas Willis Award for the individual with the most positive attitude, the Test Pilot Award for the most mounts during the school, the Iron Men Award for the team with the most mounts, and the best teamwork. I also won the most improved rider. As one of my prizes I won a hand made bull riding glove.
After the awards, we went to watch Jed Moore, the founder of the school, in the finals for the Wild Bunch of Bull Riding at the Sundance. We got to watch him score a 92 point ride. That was awesome.
Why I Ride Bulls
As a girl bull rider, I frequently get asked two questions. The first one is, “How does it feel to get on a bull that’s trying to throw you off? The second questions is, “Why do you want to ride bulls anyway?”
I find it exciting to get on top of a fifteen hundred pound bull that has every intention of throwing me as far as possible. It’s an adrenalin rush I can’t explain. The crowd is cheering as the bull is loaded in the chute. When I get ready to make a ride I don’t think about anything else except riding jump for jump.
I ride bulls because the feeling of being nervous, excited and scared all at the same time drives me to do it. The constant challenge of making an eight second ride is why I keep doing it. Riding against boys makes me have to be tougher. One day I hope to be the first female bullrider on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) circuit.
Did You Know?
Eight seconds is the amount of time a bull rider must stay aboard the bull to receive a score during a competition. When women ride bulls against women, such as in the WPRA rodeos, they only have to ride for six seconds. During the ride, the bull rider cannot touch her free hand to the bull or herself or she will be disqualified.
Pretty Tough Tip
Young Bull Riders may contact any of the following to get started:American Junior Rodeo Association 915-651-AJRA.
National High School Rodeo Association 303-452-0820.
National Little Britches Rodeo Association 719-389-0333.
Opportunities for students of all ages:
The White-Shivers-Smets School 903-684-3698.
Lancaster’s Rock ‘N Roll Rodeo School 800-333-4716.
Christian Bull Riding and Bull Fighting School 817-444-2737.
Sankey Rodeo Schools – A Premier school. 417-334-2513