How to Make Training Equipment for Bull Riding


Bull riding is a dangerous sport filled with stiff competition. It's definitely fast-paced -- the best one can do in this sport is pray and hope to hang on to the bucking bull for eight seconds. A bucking barrel is an essential tool in the arsenal of any cowboy or would-be cowboy. This suspended, self-made system lets you practice riding an unstable "bull," which is really a 55-gallon barrel hoisted up by industrial springs. Even if you never get on the back of a bucking bull, it can be fun to ride the bucking barrel and challenge your friends to see who has the best time.

Dig four holes 6 feet apart. Make the holes 3 feet deep. Use a gasoline-powered auger or a post-hole digger for this.

Fill the holes with water and allow that to seep into the ground. Mix your cement per the bag's instructions. When mixing the cement, use a little less water as the cement will soak up the water your poured in the holes and help to close it. Add rocks if you wish for added stability.

At the top of your posts, mark 8 inches from the top (in the center) and screw in your eye hooks. Make sure these are heavy-duty industrial strength screws. Apply a sealant such as Loctite to the screws for added stability if you wish.

Cut your rope into 6 foot lengths. Pass the rope through the eye hook, to the center of the rope. Tie a slipknot or clamp the rope at the ends. Drag the rope so that the knot is at the eye hook. Tie another slipknot at the bottom of the rope.

After all posts have the eye hooks and knots applied, set the posts into your holes. Make sure all eye hooks are facing inside your square. Set the posts and pour in the cement.

Start putting the other eye bolts on the barrel. At the front and back of the barrel, mark holes at the topside of your barrel. The holes should be 10 inches from the center of the barrel and 3 inches from the top and bottom. Put lock washers and nuts onto the bolts and screw them down tight.

Add the industrial-strength springs to the barrel by a slipknot rope. Use the same technique as described above. The rope length for this should be 2 1/2 feet long. Attach the springs to the ropes on your posts using the screw lock spring clip.

Your simulated bull should now be together. You may need a step ladder to climb on. Have a friend hold the barrel still while you get on. The springs help so that once you are going, you shouldn't need much help to stay in a ride.


Saddle pads can be put on your simulated bull using bungee cords.


A bucking barrel is effective in simulating a ride from an actual bull, and you should use as much caution when practicing with one.