PENDLETON - What is the mindset of a bull rider, attempting to ride a 2,000-pound irate bull for eight seconds?
Each rider is different in his own way, but the one thing most riders feel more than anything is a serious adrenaline rush.
"Some guys are pretty crazy. They'll slap themselves in the face or pound their chest," said Montana bull rider Bobby Newkirk of the craziest thing riders do before jumping on a bull. "Adrenaline takes over, and a lot of guys are just trying to get the juices going."
Newkirk had the option of a re-ride Monday on Dirty White Boy at the Pendleton PBR Classic, but said nerves will take over prior to a bull ride.
"Nobody here will tell you they don't get a little nervous before jumping on a bull," said Newkirk minutes before his ride. "I just try and relax and not think about it too much."
Some cowboys have been riding for years and they try and remain calm.
"You think about the basics like what you're going to do," said Camp Crook, S.D., bull rider Jesse Bail. "I do the same thing every time. I stretch, think about the bull and get on."
Bail got on Broken Bone and rode him for 86 points Wednesday in the main event of the 94th Pendleton Round-Up for second place.
"Every time is the same; I used to get a little nervous and maybe I still do, but I think after a while you just get used to it," Bail said.
Some riders drink several Red Bull energy drinks before climbing on a bull, while others turn to God for preparation.
"I just pray and get myself prepared," said Fort Worth, Texas, bull rider Paulo Crimber. "Sometimes I get nervous, but more excited than anything."
Crimber rode Open Heart for 82.5 and Full Throttle for 89.5 Monday in the PBR and scored 76 in Wednesday's main event of the Round-Up.
"It's an adrenaline rush," Crimber said. "Some guys are quiet and some guys really get pumped up for a ride."
Riders said that a routine is common among most cowboys and that the anticipation for a solid ride is where the rush comes from.
"You really hope for a good ride because there is no better feeling than turning in a good one," Crimber said.
Clint Craig failed to ride Dirty Harry on Thursday in the main event of the Round-Up, but sticking with the same routine is the key to a good ride for him.
"You got a game plan for what you're gonna do," Craig said. "I get things out of my bag the same, heat my rope and get it ready the same, put my boots on at the same time in my routine, and I've had this routine since I was 12-years-old."
Craig said each person is different, but a lot of riders try and get their legs warmed up because that's where a lot of bull riding comes into play.
"I like to slap my legs a little and stretch some," Craig said. "Bull riding gets your motor running, and when you give that nod to open the chute, there is no better feeling in the world."
Rookie cowboy Clayton Foltyn of Texas rode Mighty Mouse on Thursday for 80 points in the main event of the Round-Up and noted often times advice comes in handy for a young rider.
"I take advice from others, and yeah, I get nervous, but I just try and have fun," Foltyn said. "I try not and think about the ride that much."
While many may think riders are crazy for riding bulls, it's a way of life for almost all riders and they wouldn't change their lifestyle for anything.
"I love it," Crimber said. "It's the biggest rush in the world, and we wouldn't do it if it wasn't so much fun."