At age 45, he has at least four more years to repeat his championship titles that he claimed in 2013. Those titles are the World […]
First I would like to express my gratitude for the privilege to write the team roping tutorials. This being the first article, I am going to explain what I refer to as the “80 / 20 rule”. For years we have heard this game is about 80% horsemanship and 20% roping. Ropers, I’m not saying it is all about your horse but stop and think about what your number one tool is!? For 20 plus years of teaching clinics I have seen it day in and day out, more dummy roping practice than riding practice. This is where I get to the heart of the article. I am a fundamentally driven person. The sport of team roping is a professional sport. This being said, we should treat it as other professional sports are treated. The fundamentals of our sport do not change, they continue to progress! What you practice on the ground you will transfer to your horse. If you are unbalanced roping the dummy you will be out of balance in the saddle. It only makes sense because it is muscle memory. Roping the dummy should be fun and in a relaxed state but it should also be disciplined. I see more people roping the dummy with all of their weight on one foot, left hand against their chest or stomach and not squaring their shoulders to the target. My analogy or comparison to this is golf. We use the tip of our rope to catch with, just as golfers use the club head or face to hit the ball. Without equal balance in our stirrups, control of our left hand to maintain our horse position and squaring our shoulders to the target, there is no way to achieve consistency in the catch. This is all created within our ground work. Mental discipline leads to the physical muscle memory. You should rope with equal pressure on both feet just as being in your stirrups. Your left hand should be relaxed and in front of you, not against your body and you should have your shoulders squared to your target. Just as other sports are performed and executed, core balance plays a huge role. Disciplined eyes make disciplined feet. Your eyes are your horse’s feet. Your horse goes where you look!
I like to use steps in my teaching. If we have a game plan or purpose each time we practice, then we will achieve the goal of winning. Headers, keep it in order! Score, open up or square your shoulders and rotate your hips to your target leaving the corner, swing out and get your tip matched to your target, ride to position and make sure you complete a two-hand delivery. These are the 5 steps to practice in order. Heelers, same goes for you! Your first step is to establish a haze, then you must get to position. If you do not establish a haze, ride for position as intently as you can. Third, you must have your tip down in your swing. Follow the hip of the steer, not the head horse or head of the steer. Step five is be ready to rope! Nothing was mentioned about the actual catch because if you are working on setting your run up through your horse in a fundamental correct order, you will achieve your goal of the catch.
Review These Steps…
2. Open up or square to your target
3. Swing out and match your tip your target
4. Ride for position
5. Deliver your loop with both hands to your target
1. Establish your haze leaving the box
2. Ride to position (always ride position even if you miss step one)
3. Have your tip down in your swing towards the steer
4. Follow the hip or back-end of the steer
5. Be ready to rope (your first three jumps are usually as good as they get)
Thank you and God Bless!
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