Bull Riding Schools in California

Bull riding is a sporting tradition unique to the American Old West. As far back as the 19th century, cowboys have been trying to master the art of this unpredictable and often dangerous sport. Modern-day California actually has several bull riding schools where prospective rodeo stars come to learn the techniques used by the professional riders and the safety precautions involved.

  1. Gary Leffew Bull Riding School

    • Gary Leffew has gained fame for being the instructor who taught Luke Perry how to properly ride a bull for the rodeo film "8 Seconds." Leffew and a few instructors under him have started their own bull riding school, where they use these same teaching methods with amateur riders. The courses last either five or seven days and cost $200 a day, which includes a room and meals. Students also must put down a non-refundable $500 deposit in order to secure a spot. Although the school offers courses in other cities, its main location is at Leffew Ranch in Nipomo, California, near Santa Monica. Sessions take place in the spring and summer.

      Leffew Bull Riding World
      P.O. Box 5175
      Santa Maria , CA 93456
      805-929-4286
      leffewbullridingworld.com

    The Ranch at Jesus Canyon

    • The Ranch at Jesus Canyon in Llano, California, just north of Los Angeles, offers a one-day bull riding training course called the "8-Second Experience." Instructors teach the safety and mechanics of riding. They show students how to properly mount and dismount and allow them to simulate a ride as practice. By the day's end, however, students are given the chance to ride a real bull. This is a once-a-year event only, and the cost is $250, which pays for materials as well as training.

      The Ranch at Jesus Canyon
      Llano, CA 93544
      949-444-4760
      jesuscanyonranch.com

    The PRCA Championship Rodeo Camp

    • The PRCA Championship Rodeo Camp is a traveling school for young, prospective bull riders. Short for the "Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association," the PRCA was established in 1936 and has more than 70 full-time employees.This is a one-day camp with a stop in northern California in Red Bluff, just south of Redding. There is a focus on safety (for the animal as well as the rider) and riding fundamentals and an introduction into the business of professional rodeos. The session is free, but because of high demand, prospective students must fill out and send in an application beforehand.

      Roughstock events
      Red Bluff, CA 96080
      719-528-4729
      prorodeo.com/youthrodeo.aspx

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  • Photo Credit teenager riding bull calf image by Clarence Alford from Fotolia.com

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