By Leah Austin
Brendan Rihn is a 17-year-old Texas native whose extracurricular activities reach beyond the norm. When the baseball diamond or the football field isn’t enough, take a page from Brendan’s book and try bull-riding! His rodeo adventure started at a young age; wanting to keep up a long-running family tradition.
“It started when I was a little kid, seeing my dad do it, seeing my grandpa do it. I figured it just kind of runs in the bloodline,” Rihn said.
Though despite his many role models, it wasn’t always easy.
“My first ride, I’m not gonna lie, I was scared to sit on it. They pulled the trigger, and I lasted one second before falling off,” Rihn admitted. Even after participating in the activity for quite some time, he still contemplates why he does it. Despite these struggles, though, Rihn has proven to himself and others that bull-riding is a passion he won’t give up.
His success in the field has presented experiences Rihn says he may not have gotten otherwise.
“I’ve noticed a lot more girls will come up to and talk to me,” he adds. “When you go to the dance after a competition, every girl in that place wants to dance with you.” These experiences help him to push forward, even through hardships.
To be a bull-rider Rihn, it takes a lot of perseverance.
” We have what we call a “buckin’ buddy.” You work on your lean and your pull and your squeeze, or we use a practice bull- a smaller one.” Along with a strong work ethic, confidence is a necessary strength to possess.
“When you’re sitting on a horse, a bull, they feel you,” he says. “If I’m getting on and I look confident, the bull knows. ‘This guy knows what he’s doing, I better buck harder.'” This exchange between bull and rider allows for an even more exciting ride.
Rihn’s advice to anyone wanting to pursue a bull-riding career is simple: “You’re never going to know unless you get on.” He recalls his first ride, where he got knocked off, but immediately got back up.
“I was yelling, and man, I was excited. I wanted to get on another one.”
This Buckaroo’s hard work and charisma make the perfect combination for a bull-riding sensation!