AUSTIN, Texas —
"Mutton busting," sometimes stylized as mutton bustin', is where little cowboys and cowgirls compete to see who can ride a sheep the longest. It's one of the most popular events at Rodeo Austin.
Five-year-old Hayes Hensley is gearing up for his mutton bustin' debut Thursday night.
He talked to his mom about which one sheep he'd want to ride.
"A big one?" his mom, Chasity Hensley, asked. "Where he's got lots of fur for you to hold on to?"
"I want that big one," her son told her.
No matter what sheep he ends up on, this pint-sized cowboy has high hopes and says he just wants to win.
When asked what it takes to win, he said, "You can't fall off."
Chasity Hensley said no matter how long her son holds on, he's already a winner.
"You know, he's been saying he wants to win, so we're just going to hope he holds on," she said. "And, you know, we know he's going to be fine. They put him in a helmet and a vest, and we'll see how long he makes it."
"They have eight seconds of fame, the kids, and they get out there and they're scared, but yet they overcome that fear. And on the other side of fear is bravery. And we just try to instill that into our kids," she added.
Her daughter, Harper, competed in mutton bustin' last year. Now it's her son's turn.
"Afterwards, they're like superheroes. The rest of the night, everybody [is] shaking their hands and giving them high fives, all night long," Chasity Hensley said. "So it's just really exciting for the kids to be able to experience it."
Even though he'll be riding a sheep, for Hayes Hensley, the main attraction of the rodeo is the horses. But he said they are just for looking at and petting, not riding, because they are too fast.
His mom said his sister practiced mutton bustin' by riding on their dad's back. But Hayes Hensley planned to just try his luck Thursday night with no practice.
He rode at around 7:30 p.m. See how he did in the video below!