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Raymond bull rider learning to improve his skill set

Posted on September 7, 2023 by admin
Southern Alberta Newspapers Photo by Justin Seward NEW: Kaydunn Henry is pictured here with bulls at the Lethbridge and District Pro Rodeo. He is learning about how to improve his skill set and the mental side of the sport.

By Justin Seward
Southern Alberta Newspapers

Raymond bull rider Kaydunn Henry has been learning what it’s like to get out of summer slump and using offseason riding sessions to help his skill set.

Henry considered his season to start out pretty good.

“I was riding really good through the winter ,and had big plans for the summer, and then as we got into the middle of the summer, things haven’t been going the way I have planned,” said Henry.

“But it’s one of those sports, you can’t really sit at home and pout about it, you have to keep going and ride yourself out of a slump.”

The 24-year-old Henry is on the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and is ranked 29th in the standings.

“So that’s my only card I’ve pulled this summer and there’s quite a few of them this summer,” said Henry.

“They keep us pretty busy. There’s two or three (rodeos) a weekend kind of for the full summer run.”

Henry took advantage of a practice pen in Taber this winter that had stock bulls from Legend Rodeo Stocksmen.

“They were putting on a practice pen about once a week,” said Henry.

“And so, they would bring younger type(s) of bulls that they (riders) want to see what they have. And so, lots of bull riders in the area go there to get on about three or four a night and that just kind of sharpens your skills there.”

Henry really couldn’t put it in to words how much those pen sessions helped him.

“In previous years, the closest practice pen for me would be Olds, which is quite a jaunt on a Tuesday night.” he said.

“Where Taber from here is much closer and I was getting on at least three bulls every week. So going from maybe getting on 30 bulls in past winters to maybe 100 bulls this winter, I’ve seen my skill change a lot.”

Henry says it’s a huge mental game.

“Like the physical aspect of it, you’re never going to outmuscle a bucking bull,” he said.

“So it’s the balance and if you believe you can get one rode, normally you can, and just really  you got to think you can walk on water going into it. If you approach it thinking you’re not going to get one rode, you’re guaranteed (to) fall off it. So the mental aspect of it, I’ve really worked towards, just to be as confident as I can and really works well.”

Henry competed at the Lethbridge and District Pro Rodeo last night and this was his second straight year at the event.

“It means a lot,” said Henry.

“Like (I) honestly consider Lethbridge just as much as home as Raymond. We’re only 20 minutes away and got just as many friends and family here watching as I did in Raymond, and this one’s got even more money added. So it means quite a bit more. You want to do just as good here and have a really good bull drawn.”

Henry takes every opportunity he can to hop on the bull.

“I just finished my degree at the U of L, so I can put more and more of my time into it and  it seems to be paying off,” said Henry.

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