story by Siri Stevens Lydia started riding when she was four on a sale barn horse named Peanut. “PawPaw bought him for both my older […]
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Meet the Member Zeb Corkern
story by Lindsay King
“My favorite part of rodeo is the travel and the people I have met, especially in the LHSRA.,” said Zeb Corkern from Zackary, Louisiana, who has made two appearances at nationals, in his eighth grade year and freshman year, making his trip to Gillette, Wyoming, the furthest he has traveled for rodeo.
Zeb now drives a 2016 black Dodge dually down the road as a result of his hard work on the heeling side of team roping. “The high-point roper of the day at Brother-In-Law roping event won the truck. I won a first, fifth, sixth and fourteenth in the number eight roping to do it,” said the 16-year-old. That hot day in Ada, Oklahoma, in 2016 is Zeb’s proudest moment in rodeo to date. Zeb went to Walt Woodard’s roping school in Texas in 2012 to polish-up his competitive edge and seek advice from one of his role models. “Both my dad, Jud, and grandpa, Ivan, are team ropers. Grandpa is really good friends with Walt so I figured I should get advice from him on my heeling.”
Zeb has tried his hand at heading simply so he would have the skills on both sides of a steer. “I started out as a heeler but switched to heading and then switched back again. I have just always liked heeling better and my dad is a heeler.” He first learned how to rope and ride from his dad when he was little but lost interest to pursue baseball for five years. “My sisters, Lexi and Taylee, quit rodeo about the same time I did. They started cheerleading and never quit that but I eventually got back to it.” Some local high school boys wanted to learn how to rope and knew that Zeb used to so they came over to the house and practiced. “I started to rope the dummy everyday with them. I was ten and they were in high school so naturally I wanted to be like them. That is basically how I got back into it and out of baseball.”
Being homeschooled allows Zeb to go to team roping jackpots in the USTRC and World Series year round. “I try to practice everyday, either roping the dummy or steers. That is my basic mental game for roping, knowing that I am prepared when I go to compete.” Not only did Zeb learn from Jud and Ivan, he also gets to rope with Jud at practice and competitively. “My dad is definitely one of my role models. He has taught me just about everything. He knows how to correct me when I am wrong, especially when I cannot feel the error.” Ivan and Jud go to almost every roping event with Zeb for both the support and the sideline advice. Roping with his dad is great, until one of them misses for the other, making for a long ride home. “What helps me when I am having bad luck is to go back to the basics. I go back to the dummy and slow everything down to figure out what I am doing wrong. I spend those long rides home thinking about fixing things so I am ready for the next steer.”
On the rare occasion Zeb is not roping or traveling, he likes to hunt and fish. “My uncle has a hunting camp up in Mississippi so I go up there during deer season a lot. I go fish for bass with one my friends in a neighbor’s pond quite a bit.” His favorite subject in school is world history, he likes to learn about far away places.
“I plan to go to college and rodeo, probably at McNeese State University. I am not sure what I want to study yet but I will figure it out.”