Bull riding is a popular national sport that involves riders getting on a bucking bull and attempting to stay on. For those not old enough, or big enough, to get on a large and aggressive bull, there’s a similar event also held at rodeos called mutton busting.
In mutton busting events, children ride atop a sheep while the sheep runs in an attempt to knock the child off. Prizes or ribbons are awarded to the child or children who can stay on the longest, mostly at a local level. Qualifications include being ages four through seven, weighing 60 pounds or less and wearing the appropriate safety gear.
Many children and their parents who have participated in mutton busting offer some advice for those daring enough to partake in the competition. We’ve broken down some of our favorite tips to help the next participant win the next race.
It’s all about the feet.
Winning is in the footing. Many competitors and winners were able to use their legs for extra balance and strength by giving an extra squeeze.
It may not be for the introvert.
Sometimes, mutton busting events happen in front of thousands of people. If your child has a big case of stage fright, the crowd can be a turnoff or just a distraction.
It’s ok to be nervous.
Most young competitors agree that they get nervous or even scared before they get on the sheep and that’s ok. That extra adrenaline can provide added strength to hold on tighter and longer.
Expect to get dirty.
Chances are, the child will get thrown off into the dirt and it might cause a bruise or two. Any child participating in a mutton busting event needs to be aware of all of challenges.
Once ready, just hang on for the ride!
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