Let’s Rope Faster
Recently I taught a school in Quincy, Washington and the goal for some of the students was to rope faster. As we watched the video, I explained there are many steps involved to roping faster. Many people want to be able to swing their rope faster and be able to rope faster… but if you cannot ride your horse across the line correctly it’s extremely difficult.
It really comes down to how you score your horse. You want your horse to leave off your bridle reins when you drop your hand. Many people “kick start” their horse meaning they score on a loose rein and have to kick to move forward. Your bridle reins need to be your gas pedal. When you kick start your horse, the next thing that happens is when he leaves, you’re off balance and have to squeeze to hold on. Then you pull on their reins to get your upper body forward. In doing that, you slow your horse down or teach him to run through the bridle. These are common problems people have trying to rope behind the World Series barrier.
This one move is why I think they’ve moved my daughter, Hali, to a #6. She does score and ride across the line very well. She doesn’t and cannot reach right now, but we are working on it. It puts her at a disadvantage behind a regular barrier. In that case she is not competitive as a #6 header.
When you’re able to ride across line correctly, and swing correctly, it enables you to be able to rope fast. I wish this was a simple thing for people to learn, but it’s complicated and if you miss one step, then you have to take another swing to overcome, then another swing to be ready to rope. I’ve had students who were taught they need to sit in the saddle coming across the line. I disagree with that because if you try and sit in your saddle coming across the line, you’re going to get your butt beat and bounced out of the saddle. Then you’ll have to pull on the reins for balance.
Learning to use your legs and ride your stirrups is not easy. But using your legs has big benefits and can help you rope. When my kids do their drills on the Speed Trainer, they have their butt out of the saddle, one leg kicking, one leg isolated and not squeezing on the horse, and swinging their rope fast. It has allowed me to teach them how to ride their horses much faster.
It sounds like an acrobatic feat, but we’re expected to do that when we’re roping. At no time can you practice this when roping the dummy on the ground.
When roping the dummy on the ground, you move your feet to a position where you know you can catch. Then you’re never accountable for what your left hand does, and what your feet and upper body do to create momentum. That’s where you have to learn to improve your riding to have a chance to improve your roping – because they work hand in hand. It’s amazing how much better your horse responds when you’re not pulling on your reins all the time for balance.
When watching video of yourself roping, the question is what can you eliminate to be faster. That’s how I figured out the things I did heading. I tried to eliminate wasted steps. I developed the Speed Trainer to eliminate wasted steps while teaching my kids and my students how to ride better and rope faster.
What’s new with me: We’re getting settled in at our new place in Comanche. I posted a video on speedroping.com that shows the place and our progress. The arena is up and we are roping. I’m very excited with the interest and response in the Speed Trainer. Before the Speed Trainer it was always a challenge and almost impossible to teach horsemanship. You can order one through any Priefert dealer, or you can check them out at NRS, Teskeys, Priefert, and now at the Old Mill Country Store in Ellensburg, WA. If you are interested in purchasing a Speed Trainer or becoming a dealer, please call 903-434-8970.