On Thursday, September 12, 2013 GNA presents our first Bud Light Country Night of the fall season at Vapor in Saratoga Casino and Raceway.  One of the annual highlights of 'Country Night' is the mechanical bull.

Mechanical bull riding became extremely popular thanks to it's dominant role in the 1980 John Travolta film Urban Cowboy, shot at Gilley's night club in Texas.  As we prepare to bring the excitement of Urban Cowboy to Vapor, I thought it would be fun to share some tips on how to ride a mechanical bull.

I learned from a conversation with a bull rider last year that it's more about the feet, than the hands.  After watching him stay on much longer than 8 Seconds, his suggestion was to tell people to dig their heels into the bottom of the bull, and concentrate on legs and feet keeping your balance.

I also found this great information from Ezinearticles.com

"Hold the grip tight with your dominant hand, waving the other hand in the air for balance. If the bull jerks in one direction, your free arm moves in the opposite direction to help you keep your balance. Squeeze your legs tight against the bull, but keep your upper body loose. Your upper body needs to be loose so you can sway for balance, while your lower body keeps you on the bull. Remember that this is a balancing act, not a show of strength. Move back and forth, side to side, with the bull, rather than trying to power against it. You won't be able to hang on long if you're just relying on your grip. Use your hips and your upper body to rock back and forth.

If you're about ready to fall off, you might want to try jumping off instead. It can help you land more gracefully and have a softer landing. After all, eventually everyone will fall off, but if you jump instead, you have more control over your landing. You'll be landing on an inflated mat for safety, so you shouldn't get hurt even if you end up having a hard fall."

The article also suggests that you should start off slow!  Although your friends may pressure you to be more adventurous, start off slow, so you don't get thrown off right away, then build up speed slowly.

If you'd like to share any tips, please leave them in the comment section below.

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