Cowboy up — Five tricks to winning in the next go-round versus the mechanical bull
Be sure to dust off those cowboy boots and bring your 10-gallon hat to Palousafest this year. Just as in movies like Urban Cowboy and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, it’s obvious that a successful ride on the mechanical bull can make you feel like a superstar — if you do it right. Stepping up to the beast takes courage, coordination and balance, but these tips will have you riding like professional Valdiron de Oliveira in no time. ¡Olé!
Get a grip
Be sure to grip the bull’s ropes with your dominant hand. This will give you the strongest hold, offering a smoother, more controlled ride. There are two ways to grip the ropes: with your palm facing up and your hand underneath the rope, or with your palm facing down and your fingers gripping the rope from over the top. You’ll find out which is more comfortable real quickly.
Take control – real control
It’s easy to assume that all of your stability will come from your hand gripped on the rope, but important to remember that your knees are your best bet for good balance. Pretend you’re trying to squeeze your knees together, and use your leg muscles to stay rooted to the bull.
Let it flow
When you’re riding the bull, your body is going to want to go the same direction that the bull is going. It’s because of this thing called gravity. And when gravity is involved, you’re never going to win. Despite the fact that the beast wants to throw you around like a dog throws a chew toy, you can almost always trick gravity. When you feel the bull thrusting upward, rearing its ugly fake head, use your abdominal and back muscles to fight the directional pull and lean as far forward, (toward its head), as possible. And inversely, when you feel the bull rocking forward and pushing its hindquarters in the air, put on your best cowboy face and lean backward, digging those knees and heels into the animal for support.
Put your hand in the air like you just don’t care
In professional bull riding, using your other hand — the hand that isn’t attached to your rope — to your advantage is a major no-no, and allowing it to touch the bull or yourself can result in a zero score. While you may not be a professional on that glorious eight-second ride, having your non-dominant hand in the air acts as a beneficial counterbalance. Plus, you’ll look like a bull-riding rock star if you put your hat in your hand and wave that around too.
Have courage, but take care
While the mechanical bull can’t gore you, it can still toss you around. If you keep your abdominal muscles contracted but allow your shoulders and arms to move with the bull, you’ll be in good shape.
Tags: Mechanical bull