If I Only Had A Brain….

I would have taken a picture of Bully.

You have not lived unless you’ve fed 16 horny bulls.  Twice a day.  By hand.

Yeah, you heard me.

They all come a’runnin’— all, let me see… What’s 2500 lbs. times 16?  Better get out my calculator– all 40,000 lbs. of them.

It’s not that they want to kill you, it’s that they want the food and they don’t really see you at all.  Except for Bully, who was hand-raised, who pushes you around with his huge head (no horns, thank god) until you pet him.  He likes his forehead scratched first and then his butt.  He’s very forward, has no concept of personal space.  Bully has a best friend who’ll give you a sniff and let you give him a little pat– a bull with a sweet expression, but I can’t remember his name.  I was too busy watching my back to manage a formal introduction.

The night I arrived in Montana, after having been awake for 24 hours straight, taken two flights, done all the grocery shopping for a week and driven two hours to the ranch, my daughter said, “Mom, you gotta feed the bulls.  I can’t do it.”

And I’m like… “Feed the bulls???  Are you fuckin’ nuts?”

And she’s like… “It’s okay, they won’t hurt you.  Just lay out the hay in a line so they each get their own pile.”

Yuh-huh.

The first time I did it, I was like duck and cover.  Throw the hay and run.  By the second day I was already yelling at the bulls to back off.  However, if a 2500 lb. bull wants to run you over, he will.

You should have been there for the bull fights the day they were, ahem, tested. Sixteen randy bulls in a small corral waiting for an electrode up the ass.  They knocked down fences, tossed big old wooden poles across the corral, nearly killed the in-laws.  The smartest thing you can do is get the hell out of the way.  My heart was pounding, I was terrified I’d have to crawl into the corral, braving those heavy hooves and heaving bodies to rescue my daughter’s father-in-law.  And then I realized I’d just have to let him get stomped.

You’ll be happy to know all the bulls are fertile.  And after the testing they got turned out with the cows.  So everybody was in good spirits.

My son-in-law is doing better.  The first few days were pretty awful.  I called today to check on him because I knew he’d be home alone as my daughter and her father-in-law went to help out at a neighbor’s branding.  Guess what he was doing– mowing the lawn on a riding mower.  Wearing his sling with his arm and shoulder full of metal.  You can’t keep a cowboy down.

Anyway, I’m home.  I’m pretty disoriented from lack of sleep and travel.  However maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you why I love Montana and ranch life so much.  Like I said, if I’d actually had a brain while I was up there I’d have taken oodles of pictures but my brain was on hold.

Here’s a generic photo of an Angus bull:

Typical Angus Bull.

Typical Angus Bull.

Yeah, 16 of ‘em.  Sheesh!

 

You Wanna Know What Makes Me Feel Better? Rank Bulls.

Still sick in bed but I’m watching the PBR.  If you don’t know what the PBR is you really oughta find out and start watching. Tomorrow night is the finale on CBS Sports HD.  Wow is right. Hey… nice Jewish girls love bull riders and the bulls they ride in on.

These are the toughest bulls in the world and the toughest craziest SOBs on the face of the earth – the cowboys who ride those bulls.

Remember when I recommended the movie, Rank?  I’m still recommending the movie, Rank.

Quotes from Stay and otherwise…

“Never was a bull that couldn’t be rode.  Never was a cowboy that couldn’t be throwed.”  Robert Mitchum to Susan Hayward, The Lusty Men

 

Lucas Jennings and Sydney Blake from Stay:

He laughed. “It worked out fine. She’d always dreamed of marrying a cowboy.”

“Every little girl dreams of marrying a cowboy,” she said.

Lucas teased her. “I thought every little girl dreamed of riding a horse.”

“Well, why do you think we want to marry cowboys?”

 

 

 

Rank.

I give this documentary Five Stars.

Get it.

The definition of a rank bull: Rank is a term used to describe roughstock animals that are difficult to ride. It could mean tough, rough, mean, or dangerous when describing specific broncs or bulls.

Bull riders are the most courageous athletes, the most insane sons of bitches in the entire world.

When my kids were younger we loved our rodeos.  Of course we lived in a more rural area – just south of Idaho – and there was always a rodeo somewhere nearby during the summer months.  When we first moved to California we went to two rodeos a year until they were phased out due to cost.  Sad.

The one event we never missed, even though we covered our eyes and watched through our fingers?  Bull riding.  We waited for the bull riders with unbridled anticipation and a whole lot of fear.  Praying no one would get killed, we watched them ride with a mix of admiration, horror, respect, astonishment, disbelief.

Riding a bull is like crashing your car every night without benefit of a seat belt or an air bag.  If you’re in the world championships, you will have to ride a different bull for seven nights and you will ride the rankest bulls in the world – A Rank Bull = a bull most likely to kill you.

Yes, there’s money in the sport, but not much.  And not for very many.  During his brief career, a bull rider is very likely to suffer crippling injuries, perhaps career-ending injuries if not, oh, a broken neck, a serious head injury, disfigurement, death.

If bull riders only rode for the money, they wouldn’t ride.  It’s gotta be the passion because no amount of money is worth the punishment.

And the bull fighters… it takes real courage and skill to protect the bull riders.  Because frankly, unlike a bucking bronco who just wants to get away from you, a bull quite literally wants to kill you and a bull has many tools to do it. He can stomp you to death, gore you, throw you, fall on you…

Rank follows three bull riders – the top three riders in the world when the film was made -

Justin McBride.

Adriano Moreas.

Mike Lee.

The movie also follows the bulls and the men who breed the rankest bulls in the world.

Anyone remember the movie, 8 Seconds?  8 Seconds tells the true story of the tragic life and death of Lane Frost, one of the best bull riders, and his friend, Tuff Hederman.  It’s one of my daughter’s favorite movies.

Rank is even better.  I guarantee there will be scenes you can’t watch.  You will have to look away.  Even my husband covered his eyes.

Cover your eyes: