In my last blog I mentioned that the holiday season is our favorite time of the year. This time of the year is definitely a close second ― "Spring is in the air!" It's indeed an exciting time of year for us as we are starting to have baby colts here at the house. In addition, the baby calves are beginning to hit the ground ― "bucking" we always hope. We are always assured they've inherited the ability to buck when we often find them bucking, kicking and playing among one another at less than a week old.
Through my short time of involvement in the bucking bull business, I've learned the first thing you immediately do is check to see if it's a bull or a heifer. Granted, the heifers are an integral part and equally important in a herd, you need bull calves to make a bucking bull business.
Aside from keeping a close watch on the cow herd, Cord and I have been busy on the road competing with the calves in futurities, derbies and classic competitions.
Sara and Cord's bull, Dry Fly, at the ABBI futurity in Oklahoma City.
I always laugh when I ponder the fact that my livelihood is determined by how well my husband can stay atop a bucking bull, or how well our competition bulls can buck with perfection.
Growing up with a commercial cow herd, I was a little leery of the bull business. Some years can prove to be more profitable than others, but you truly never know what the year is going to bring.
I'm well aware this is the case for most American families these days. But when a four-legged animal has to buck at a certain level, and Cord has to ride one of those bucking beasts to put food on the table and a roof over our heads, or else you don't receive a paycheck, the chances of a consistent yearly flow of income are usually thrown out the window. It sure sums up an interesting and eventful lifestyle.
There is no way around saying that it's a tough way to make a living. However you choose to look at it, like anything else, there are challenges involved, but we sure do have fun. We love what we do and in the end, that's all that matters.
My hesitance in regards to being involved in the bull business remained for a good year into our marriage. With dreams of someday raising a house full of children and bucking bulls being the primary source of income, however, I looked at it with skepticism and doubt.
Of course I always could have gone to town to get a job, but deep down that wasn't what Cord wanted me to do, and neither did I. We are both very passionate about the Western lifestyle. It's important to us that our children grow up with similar ranch-life experiences as we did as kids. Needless to say, I eventually jumped into the bull business with both feet.
There's no doubt a bull rider's career can only last so long. Cord has always considered life after bull riding with a strong focus on being able to continue making a living doing what he loves ― being a cowboy. Cord's hobby that started back when he was in high school has changed to a full-time business. Together we've made subtle changes and it's been enjoyable to make the business work as a team. From changes and improvements in bloodlines, nutrition, exercise, feed supplements and bull training, we've quickly learned that even the smallest variables can affect the big picture.
We have an on-going joke around here, even though I'm not a mother, I'm a firm believer that all women have maternal instincts to some extent. Boy, do my motherly instincts kick in full force when it comes to the care and nutrition of our livestock! I am convinced that nobody can care for the 'kids' around here like 'mama!'
Calves on the McCoy's ranch.
Aside from all the ranch life fun, we've been busy filming episodes of "The Ride." For those that are unaware, "The Ride" is a television series on RFD-TV that showcases various aspects of ranching and the Western lifestyle. Cord is the host of the show, which airs Mondays at 12 p.m. and 10 p.m. CT.
Cord has taken a short break from competing in bull riding. We will haul bulls to the Kansas City Built Ford Tough Series event at the end of February, and then he has full intentions of "hitting the trail," as he says in reference to entering and competing at Touring Pro Division events.
I've become well aware that there is such a thing as "bull rider lingo". Some of the phrases and words you hear them say as they interact with one another in regards to how a bull bucked would be foreign to most. Someone more qualified can give the correct definition of the words "welly" and "rank." With that, I'm sure I can vouch for most wives, family members ― anyone who is of acquaintance to a bull rider ― in saying most of them probably can't recall what they wore or what they ate the day before. But by golly, without fail, they can remember the bull they rode six years ago, its name, its bull number, how many spots it had, which direction it went, how many points they were and what city they were in. Whew! Now THAT'S impressive! It's simply amazing. Perhaps to be a professional bull rider and make living doing what they dangerously do, one really does have to have complete passion and admiration for the sport.
© 2013 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.