NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bull riding isn’t all that popular around these parts — until this weekend, when the Professional Bull Riders Monster Energy Invitational kicks off at Madison Square Garden.

J.B. Mauney, from Mooresville, N.C., is ranked among the top 10 American World Champion Professional Bull Riders. He visited The Couch to tell us about this weekend’s invitational.

Mauney started riding when he was about three years old — first on sheep, then calves. He began riding bulls when he was about 13.

It wasn’t smooth sailing from the start.

“When I first started getting on big bulls, I was only 13, and those big old bulls they yanked me around pretty good,” he said. “But I finally figured out how to deal with them.”

He compares to sport to dancing — the bull leads and the rider follows.

“They make a move, and you gotta do the counter move. Once you get in sync, if everything’s going good, it’s like you’re in a rocking chair.”

But the sport doesn’t come without danger.

“When I was 18, I had a bull step on my stomach, broke most of my ribs on my right side, lacerated my liver,” he said.

Mauney’s safety technique?

“Run when you hit the ground,” he said.

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