Pushing the Barrier – August 2013 Correcting Roping Mistakes


Unknown-1When you miss a steer do you know why you missed or does it leave you wondering what happened? Understanding how to fix roping problems is a big struggle for most team ropers. In order to understand what went wrong you need to break it down and do things slowly and in control. All professional sports have drills that prepare athletes for competition.

Over the years of helping people with roping, the most common problems are related to the hands and feet and giving the horse the wrong cues. Your roping will naturally improve if you improve the way you control your horse with your reins and feet.

There’s no better way to fix roping problems than to have someone who understands the fundamentals watch video of you roping. While you may see yourself do some things that surprise you, you probably won’t recognize small things that can cause bigger issues. That’s why you go to roping schools.

However, don’t think you can attend a roping school and improve your roping in the couple of days you’re there. Roping schools should help you understand what you need to work on to improve. It takes days to incorporate the changes necessary to fix your problems. It all comes back to the basics and fundamentals. Determine where your weakest link is, because you’re only as good as the weakest link in your roping.

That’s why I’m such an advocate of the Hot Heels and mechanical dummies. Whether it’s you or your horse with the problem, you have to go slow enough to recognize and isolate what the problem is. Until you understand the mechanics of what you’re doing wrong, it’s impossible to fix the problem.

One of the worst things you can do for your roping is to have an even set of steers in your practice pen. Ideally you need a variety of steers that run fast, slow, left, and right, along with some that hop fast. I have yet to go to a roping where all the steers ran the same. Going to the practice pen and catching every steer really isn’t that great for your roping. The practice pen is about preparation so that when you leave home you can overcome potential problems and have a chance to win. You work on the things that give you problems so that when you compete, they are no longer problems.

It’s better to have a great day at the roping and win money than to have a wonderful day in the practice pen.

What’s new with me:  Two of my head horses are off the injured list, Carmen and Dillinger. In the next couple of weeks we will be going to jackpots in Hamilton and Waco. I’ve been doing some schools in the evenings when it’s cool. My kids have been roping quite a bit and that always makes it fun for me.

If you’re struggling with your roping and don’t know what you problem is, check out some of my drills on speedroping.com. You might just see something that helps you turn the corner with your roping.

August 5, 2013 |

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