“My motivation (to rodeo) is to keep alive the tradition,” says 16-year-old Meghan Proctor. “If I didn’t do rodeo, I wouldn’t have anything else to […]
Hello Ropers, I hope your summer has been going great and your roping has been successful. This month’s article is directed in an area we are all guilty of and I know it will touch base with most. To this day I have always said, “slow down to be fast” or “take the time it takes so it takes less time.” It seems we all like to rush through things to get them done but in the process all we do is create more work for ourselves. When we are in the practice pen, the practices we have become our mental and physical memory and preparation.
As I continue to do clinics and lessons, I continue to see speed take precedence over correctness. We need to utilize our practices to work on goals or the steps I have mentioned in previous articles, then we become more solid in achieving balanced runs.
This sport is called Team Roping and that means more than one person. Controlled runs are built on executing a sound business or game plan. If we are more consumed with catching instead of what allows us to catch, then we will never achieve the goal of control and consistency in catching! You have to be disciplined with your groundwork.
Headers, if you are out of balance and your left hand moves out and left to pull your slack, you will be the same way on your horse.
Heelers, the same applies for you. If we rope the dummy slower and think about control and slowing down to be under control, then you develop the muscle memory correctly and then speed will start to surface within your roping. For example, headers catch and the left hand moves out and to the left. This means the horse is moving away from the steer faster than the steer is moving down the arena. Because we are going faster, subconsciously we think this should make for a faster run or time. In essence, we are really adding time to the clock because we have now taken all of the timing away from a heeler and they have ride further across the arena to time their horse and swing with the steer. It is basically starting over for the heeler when they make the corner.
Heelers, I have said Position is 80% of heeling. If you work harder down the arena to be in position, then you do not have to work as hard across the arena. If you fall back and do not stay in position, you are always playing “catch-up.” This will sometimes change the thought process of the header to speed up or slow down creating inconsistency in the handles.
Remember, being under control will create a more balanced run. Controlled is faster than trying to achieve speed in itself. Slow down to be fast, take the time it takes so it takes less time!! The speed will start showing up on it’s own if you take the time needed to control your thoughts, practices and runs! God Bless and until next month, stay with the fundamentals!!
Thank you and God Bless!
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