To Feed or Not To Feed
I've been wondering if it is O.K. to not feed your rope when heading. I've found it easier to just start with the same loop that I deliver to the horn. That's one less step that I have to do before I throw. What are the pros and cons of this?
Tim, Leesville, La.
The advantage of starting with a smaller loop is that it's easier to get your swing started. For a lower-numbered roping, it's probably not quite as important. When your rodeoing, it's important to start with a smaller loop because when you feed it you get some extra momentum on the tip of your rope. You don't have to do it. Everybody at the pro level does. It's an advantage to do it, but it's not a must. It will just take you a little longer to get your rope up and get it going when you start out with the size of loop you're going to use to rope with.
A Barrier to Success
Hi, I've been roping now for about five years. I'm a No. 4 header. I don't have any trouble finding runs when I go to a roping, because the higher number guys are looking for a lower number roper. I turn my cows very consistent, I worked really hard on learning how to handle my cows. That's one thing I have really concentrated on this past year, and I feel like I've done a good job on that. I'm ready to step up my game now though, and I need to learn how to get out better. Not just three out of ten, but on every cow.
I sit there at a roping and watch the score line and know what I'm supposed to see, but I seem to draw the odd cows out of the bunch. It seems like I'm so scared of breaking the barrier that I usually get out a little late. I catch most of my cows from half way to three quarters of the way down the pen. I ride a nice little seven-year-old bay gelding. He's a good horse with plenty of run, but I still want to get out good on every cow not just here and there.
My question is, what can I do in the practice pen to improve my start from the gate?
Thank Y'all a bunch,
Landon, Smithdale, Miss.
It's hard to tell for sure, but in the practice pen you need to practice scoring to make sure your horse is scoring properly. But when you're running steers in the practice pen, practice seeing the steer to a certain point and taking the start of leaving there when you want to. Make sure your horse isn't running through your hand when you leave, make sure you are releasing him to leave. Whatever the measurements are at most of the ropings you go to, practice seeing the steers where you normally would at the roping in the practice pen. It's good to practice your starts in the practice pen rather than just leaving when it's convenient.
If I'm going to someplace where I know it's a fast set up, I'm going to practice that. I just want to make sure my horse is standing there real quiet and starting when I release him.