Lessons from a world champion

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What does it take to be a world-class bareback rider? Will Lowe knows.

Will Lowe
Will Lowe

Ten times in his career, Lowe has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He’s left the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas with a world champion’s Montana Silversmiths gold buckle three times. So what does he have to say?

“First and foremost, you’ve got to be in shape,” he said. “It takes a lot of core muscle, plus, you have to teach your muscles to react. You can’t sit there and think about it, so you’ve got to have your muscles trained.

“If you can handle your body weight, you can ride bucking horses.”

That’s a great start for any young cowboy who hankers to ride bucking beasts for a living.

“You’re going to need to get a good markout,” Lowe said, referring to having the heels of his boots over the breaks of the horse’s front shoulders when the animal hits the ground with his front hooves the first time. “Yes, it’s a rule, but at the same time, you’ve got to get those feet up there and get in time with it.

“I hold on with my feet until it’s time to go. When they start jumping and kicking and giving you some timing to do something with, then you can spur back to your riggin’.”

That style has worked for Lowe, who has more victories than most, and it can work for any youngster wanting to get to the top.


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