Leaving the Chute-Start Right
Leaving the chute is what builds your ride. Getting beat out should never happen. That is the only point in the ride where you have the advantage over the bull and know exactly what direction he is going to go next, unless he backs out and comes backward.
Within the last couple months I have been traveling to high school and college rodeo’s and I am noticing that a lot of young guys are not leaving the chute correctly. They are getting beat out and wonder why they are getting drilled.
I’ve noticed a lot of guys let go of the gate before they nod (Pic 1). When you let go of the gate and hold your free arm above your ear, how do you expect not to get raised up? All that does is give the advantage right back to the bull. During a bulls kick you don’t want your free arm up there, so why would you leave the chute that way? By doing this it also sits you back on your pockets if you aren’t really good at pushing your chest out. Most of the guys I have been watching have not been good at their chest when they let go of the gate. As soon as they let go, they get a “C” in their back and sit flat on their butt. The way I like to leave the chute is to keep a hold of the gate, or the back of the chute until the gate starts to open. I don’t hold the top rail, I position my hand low and a little forward. This is the position desired during the kick (Pic 2). Then when the gate starts to open, depending on the delivery and which hand you ride with, I let the gate pull me into position 1 (Pic 3). But you have to know when to let go because if you hold too long it will pull you out of position. If my free arm is on the back of the chute, I hold it until I set my feet after the gate starts to creep open.
The young guys I’ve been watching also drop their feet and try to get a hold of the bulls before the gate opens only causing that bull to act up. It also made me feel flat on my but as well. When you’re in the chute that is the only time when you have “tools” to help you. If you leave your feet on the slats, you have the advantage to stand on them to stay off your pockets and drive out of the chute. As I said earlier, you know what direction the bull is going so use the tools to your advantage. I like to leave my feet until the gate starts to open and I can feel it spread my legs. At that point I drop them and get a good hold. If you are familiar with the bucking horse riding, it is real similar to the “mark out.” I have them low enough I don’t have to drop them too far but high enough to keep a bend in my knee to be able to get the weight off my butt and drive out of the chute.
If you aren’t in position on the first jump or get beat out, then you are playing catch up the whole time. Use the chutes to help you be in the right position from the nod.