Are Blinders an Option?
I've recently bought a 10-year-old horse. He has been roped on 12 times or so before I bought him and 150 plus since I've owned him. When we go to the practice pen or especially at a roping, he will swerve way hard left right after the box. We are pretty sure he is jumping away from the chute. I've really worked hard on it and have made progress in the practice pen. When we were at a roping he did it twice. I don't want to quit him at all because he is really, really fast and puts me right where I need to be, but if he keeps costing me time he'll have to go. I was told to put a blinder on his right eye.
This is my question: Is the blinder the best thing to do?
Blake, Wynnewood, Okla.
Well, I don't know and I don't know what the horse's history is or if he's shying from the chute, the steer or trying to duck a little bit. I see what you're talking about, but I'm not sure about the blinder. What I would do is get a breakaway rope, and when I'm practicing, make your horse break real tight over toward the chute and really make him run right to the steer and breakaway rope some.
What you're trying to do is get him really patterned where he can just leave there and go hunt the steers up. Leave out turning them off and stuff like that for a little bit. Make him start looking for those steers.
Roping for Dummies
Can you get into bad habits from dummy roping?
I noticed I use my feet a lot when I am working on the ground, but when I get on my horse it seems like I try to stand and reach in the saddle. Is that bad?
Ashley, Thornton, Texas
Dummy roping can create bad habits. If you're roping smaller-horned dummies or something. Plus, you can get away without doing it completely correctly and still catch sometimes. Try roping some with a little bigger horns. I also rope a dummy all different ways. I'll stand there flat-footed and practice roping it some like that-the point is no matter what my lower body is doing I'm still comfortable making my loop go where I want it. I vary my dummy roping a lot.
What's it like roping at your first Wrangler NFR? Is there a lot of pressure on you when you ride in the box or do you tend to stay relaxed?
It's probably the most tense before you get there, wondering what it's going to be like. If you've roped enough to get to that point, you're going to be pretty confident in what you're doing.
Once you get there and it starts, you realize you're just going and roping another steer. SWR