Since we are winding down the regular season, I wanted to take
you all on a little behind-the-scenes tour of the events, and why
they are some of my favorite places to be in the world.
Bull housing is usually not where the event is held. Sometimes it's up to 20 or 30 miles away, just depending on the location. I usually stay as close to the bull pens as possible, so I miss out on a lot of what goes on during the weekends. We get there early and then spend a lot of time just hanging out. It's definitely a lot of hurrying up and waiting. The stock contractors have our own entertainment the weekends of events though, and I always have a lot of fun. Generally, it's pretty low-key and involves hanging out at the pens and shooting the bull, but I always learn by sitting around listening to the guys who have been doing this for longer than I've been alive. McKennon says I act like an old grouchy stock contractor, so that's why I'm friends with all of them! I guess he is probably right.
I love the atmosphere at the bull housing, because it's friendly, but there's always a hint of competition. I love listening to everyone's opinions of bulls, each other and the industry. The great thing is that no matter how competitive everyone is with each other, there is always someone there to help you pack hay or sort a bull. We have a pretty great community.
There is nothing more exciting than being at the events and the anticipation of bucking your bulls.
We load the bulls a few hours prior to the event, and haul them from housing to the arena. When I'm on the road, I really like to take a horse with me so I can use them to help load. I love working bulls horseback, and it's a good environment for young horses and gives them a good job. The PBR guys have a very specific routine and load the bulls on the trailers in accordance to when they are out at the event. They are also very aware of what bulls can go with each other and which need to be by themselves and accommodate them on the trailer and at the arena.
There is nothing more exciting than being at the events and the anticipation of bucking your bulls. I never get nervous in any other situation, but I do as soon as my bulls are about to buck. It's a good nervous though! I love watching the bull ridings, visiting with the riders, camera crew, other stock contractors and the rest of the PBR family, and having a front-row view of each ride is pretty cool, too!
When we get the bulls back to housing from the arena, feeding and taking care of them is kind of a social event in itself. There is always lots of talk of what happened at the event and whatever drama is going on while filling feed buckets and water tubs.
Every once in awhile, I go out and have fun at the after-parties, but I have more fun when I'm around the livestock and people I have things in common with. I love the life and opportunities the PBR has given me, especially the less-glamorous side!
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