At what age is a bull bucked for the first time?
A calf is first bucked when he is a pre-futurity bull (yearling) at 1 year old. We buck a calf 2-3 times to determine if he has talent and wants to buck. Once we determine a calf has the potential to become a good bucking bull, he is given time to eat and grow for about 6 months. Just before the bull turns 2 yrs old, we will start more intense training and buck him on a more regular basis (approximately once a month) until we feel the bull is settling in to what he is going to be. At this time, we will decide whether or not he is going to be good enough to compete in the futurities as a 2 yr old. If he still shows the ability and desire to buck, we will continue to work with him until we feel he is mature and solid enough to enter his first futurity competition.
What makes a bull buck?
Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing you can do to make a bull buck! The flank rope that is put around their flank area is nothing more than a ¾ inch cotton rope that "tickles” the bull in the flank area causing him to kick more when he bucks. It hurts the bull in no way. These animals are athletes and if something irritates them, they won’t perform to the best of their ability. The best way to get a good bucker is to breed for it. Genetics play a major part in the athletic ability of a bull.
How often is a bull bucked?
A pre-futurity bull is bucked 2-3 times over a 45-60 day period to determine whether or not he has a future as a bucking bull. During his 2 yr old year, he will be bucked about once every 4-6 weeks to work to establish a winning bucking pattern. We work to get the bull to buck while spinning as fast as possible but maintaining control. Once we feel a bull has reached the top of his game we will not buck him until it’s time for him to compete in a futurity.
The 3 yr old year of a bull’s life is a time when he goes through a lot of changes physically. He is at a major growing time in his life and isn’t ready to travel or have top bull riders on him. Most people use this time of the bull’s life to grow him out and allow him to mature. He is hauled on a limited basis close to home to let him get accustomed to riders and his new larger body mass.
A classic bull is typically only bucked during Classic Competitions which would be every once or twice a month. Occasionally, if the bull hasn’t bucked in a while, he will be bucked here at the ranch or at a non-classic event. By the time a bull reaches his 3 and 4 yr old years, he knows how to buck and doesn’t need any additional training.