We are talking about practice. We have a sign at the gate of all three of our practice arenas, but there is much more than […]
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Written by: Krece Harris< Back to Articles
Hello ropers! Great to be back writing the second article! I hope everyone had a chance to read and try what was talked about in first tutorial. I am going to follow up where I left off.
Again, fundamentals are where you keep your focus. I always have students calling or sending messages/videos with a problem and every time the problem can be traced back to a fundamental oversight. This is where we dissect the steps I mentioned.
Step one for headers is scoring. This means learning to score yourself so your horse becomes consistent in your commands. If you anticipate the gates opening and your body moves, your horse is going to move as well. Keep your balance equal in your saddle and stirrups and nod with your head, not your back or body. Make sure your left hand is staying consistent with the pressure you have holding your horse. I prefer to use my stomach/abdominal area or saddle horn as a guide so I’m not lifting or moving. This is the start of your run.
Leaving the corner of the box sets the tone for the run. More often than not, headers will leave the corner of the box leaning forward to leave with their horse. Granted this keeps you from going off the back of your horse but it is not correct. This causes you to start your swing later and be out of balance in your swing. The first swing usually goes forward and up and now you have to take extra swings to get your tip down to rope once in position. If we leave the corner of the box balanced with our left hand moving forward, then our weight will remain equally balanced in the stirrups allowing us to square our shoulders and hips to our target. Now our horses are leaving flat, smooth and faster, which means they are out of our way to get the swing started with less effort and match the tip of our loop and swing to the head or horns of the steer.
Watch videos of the open ropers in slow motion and you will see how everyone of them leave the box rotating arms, shoulders and hips to get square to the target. If you don’t do this it definitely does not mean you can not catch, just means you are working harder to achieve the same result as someone who is doing it and you are being less efficient. Work smarter, not harder. Remember it is a timed event!
As we continue from month to month I will break down the “How and Why” of the steps which creates the solid practices. The catch is what makes us feel good but what makes us feel better is to understand how to get better and catch every time as we work in the practice pen.
Until next month, thank you for your time and work on what works and not recreating the same habit that doesn’t work.
Thank you and God Bless!