Even though I’m the farthest thing from a cowgirl, we seem to gravitate towards living in rodeo towns. Prescott is home to the world’s oldest rodeo.
Olive is my adorable twelve-year-old neighbor who is a little bigger than Puppy Girl who weighs ten pounds soaking wet. Olive might weigh 60 pounds. She is athletic and has taken lessons in several sports. If any girl can learn to be a successful bull rider, Olive can.
“No, no, no, no, no,” said my nurse friend Carmen last night when I told her about Olive’s experience. “I work in a hospital. Too many kids come in hurt.” (Not specifically from riding bulls, but in general, mostly from riding ATVs)
Even though I spent nearly twenty years living almost next door to herds of bulls, I can’t stand to even watch videos of adult bull riders. I worry about the horns. I went to the Woodlake Rodeo once even though it is famous in CA, and was located six miles from our home. There is a restaurant in Prescott that features looped videos of bull riders while you try to eat. Now I sit with my back to the closest screen. You can’t get away from them entirely, and the restaurant does have great food.
Statistics from Journal Studies on Bull and Horseback Riding
“According to the injury classification system (severe, minor, or other), 36% of injuries to bull riders were severe. Fractures were the most common severe injury. Concussions constituted 10.6% of all injuries; neck injuries and concussion with other head and facial injuries accounted for 28.9%. About half (48%) of injuries were minor. The knee and shoulder were the most commonly injured joints.”National Library of Medicine Dale J Butterwick 1, Willem H Meeuwisse
As far as horse-riding is concerned, more girls get hurt than boys. Teens and children tend to have more head injuries from horse riding than the general population (duh) and head injuries were the leading cause of fatalities. One in 10,000 riders during a Canadian study died or about three per year.
“Head injuries and other serious injuries occur with equestrian activities and it is important for doctors, instructors, and parents to promote the use of appropriate safety equipment, including helmets, especially for children.”BMJ Journals Equestrian Injuries Janet M Sorli
What would you do if your daughter desperately wanted to try her hand at bull-riding?
Olive’s dad is enthusiastic. “Her trainer here in AZ said she could be on the professional or Olympic level circuit. She’s already better than most of the other young riders.” (my close-enough paraphrase)
The videos in this interview of Olive bull-riding are impressive. She looks like an expert. The bulls are young, not full-sized. Olive seems to bounce up after each fall – and you DO have to fall to get off of a bull. I’ve never seen a bull politely bow down, stop, or go quietly back to the stall and let the rider get off when the ride is finished.
This is a conversation with Olive and her mother about the experience. All pictures and video clips are provided by her family and are used with their permission, but, of course, can’t be copied. I created the video by cutting and pasting together video clips and photos but got frustrated when I tried to add music. You don’t get to copy my amateur efforts either. LOL.
Quick Summation of the Video
In case you don’t have time to review the five-and-a-half-minute video, here are the salient points.
- Olive loved the experience, especially the adreneline rush, the animals and the people.
- Olive knows her dad is proud of her and happy for her to try bull riding. He didn’t try it though.
- Olive has been riding horses for about seven or eight years, but had only ridden a bull once before this camp experience.
- Olive knows her mother doesn’t approve and had her first bull ride when mom was out of town.
- Olive’s mother, Natalie, though frightened for her daughter, seems supportive of the opportunity to try it.
- Both Olive and Natalie suggested that if someone has a passion for bull riding, even though it’s hard, they should at least try it.
Now it’s your turn.
This video is not created to encourage or teach you, your kids, or your grandkids to ride bulls. Will it stimulate conversation? That’s up to you. I always love to hear what you have to say.
Coming Up on Always Write
- Yvette’s story, “Sweet Feeling” has been so popular that we’re leaving it open for comments for another week before the Summary of all the comments.
- Coming April 5th is an exciting short story from Anne Goodwin that will get you all chatting called, “The Power of Verticality.” Visit the Story Chat page to see the year’s lineup of authors and upcoming titles. Story Chat runs from October through September.
- I love WQW and all your quotes and responses to the prompts. There’s still one more day to talk about all things green or Irish. “Don’t iron a four leaf clover. You don’t want to press your luck.” Next week we rush into the spring equinox.
- PPAC lets us travel all around the world to see the artistic sights of many countries. I’ve enjoyed murals, statues, moons, sculptures, gargoyles, and much more from Tasmania to Africa, from Europe to Asia, and all places in between. Add your links for PPAC 40 by Thursday.