As I sit here on a cold snowy afternoon trying to recover from the dreaded flu and a couple other health problems, my choices of interesting programs on the television have been limited.

As I surfed through the channels available, I stopped for just a few minutes to watch a bull riding event. They were showing a ride by Cody Nance, the top bull rider in the 2018 standings on Sweetpro’s Bruiser.

Sweetpro’s Bruiser is the top bucking bull in 2017. He is owned by D & H Cattle Company, Dickson, Oklahoma. When asked what he is worth, his owner replied, "Whatever someone will give!" He is considered to be worth $300,000 to $500,000. Training for bucking bulls starts when they are yearlings to 2-year-olds. I learned that some of the best bucking bulls have been cloned. Many of the top bucking bulls have their own chiropractors.

As the bull rider gets ready for his ride, he prepares in every way. He has educated himself on what this ride is all about. He has studied his opponent and knows exactly how he will work against him. He accepts the fact that it is going to be a very tough ride. When the gate opens and he hits the arena, he feels he has prepared in every way he can, is ready to ride and hopes he can win.

As the ride goes on, he is jerked in every direction, and with determination he tries to hang on for the duration. He is twisted, turned, up, down and then thrown to the ground with that bull kicking and stomping, charging with his horns and trying to finish him off.

As he takes that ride, he is dependent on people around him in the arena to protect him and help him until he can get out of the difficult and dangerous situation. He picks himself up, aching and hurting all over, and limps out of the arena knowing he will come back tomorrow and keep trying to succeed and win the battle.

I have to ask myself, "Why would anyone want to be a bull rider?" Riding a wild bull doesn’t sound like a good idea. Is it the challenge, the love of the sport or wanting to do something cazy? You are subjecting yourself to danger and severe injuries that could affect you the rest of your life. There is very little profit unless you can work your way to becoming a champion, and then the high dollars are only offered occasionally. There are expenses that have to be paid every day and often unexpected ones come up. You are dependent on the public and their interest in the product you offer. There are long hours that take time away from the family.

As I watched that rider being so violently jerked around my decision was made. I’ll just keep on being a dairy farmer — however, these days it seems to be a lot like bull riding.