This week is going to be crazy for us. Tonight is the award ceremony for Awana. Tomorrow we have our branding (yes!!!!) and maybe we’ll make it to our Bright Lights Bible Study that afternoon. We are then leaving Friday afternoon to go to a mother daughter conference for the rest of Friday and all of Saturday. And after that, we’ve got Mother’s Day at our house on Sunday.
So yeah, this is going to be a very interesting week.
But, since we are going to be roping tomorrow, I have decided to post about roping.
Top Ten Things for Ropers to Remember:
- Practice!! You don’t practice, you don’t do good. I did not practice this much over the winter, dealing with Grandma’s cancer and such…but I’m starting to get back into it. Slowly.
- Make sure your horse is ready. Your horse does–or should–trust you. Don’t scare him and lose all that. Slowly introduce him to the rope at home, don’t take him to a roping, toss him out in the middle of a bunch of cows, whooping cowboys, and flying ropes and expect him to do perfect. You might end up in Canada. Without your horse’s trust.
- Don’t get the rope under the tail. Seriously. I did that once, but I was still learning on a pretty solid horse so Grandpa was able to run over and untangle me before we went for a ride. But the horse I’m riding now? Get the rope under the tail and I might join you in Canada. If I can hold on that long. 😉
- Remember, you can’t push the rope!! I’ve tried to do this many times, ‘pushing’ the rope toward my target. Well, that doesn’t work. You have to let it go around enough that you can ‘pull’ it to the target. How do you know when to do that? Refer back to #1, Practice!
- Make sure your rope is a good stiffness. Some people like stiff ropes, others like soft ropes. For heeling, I’d rather a stiffer rope that holds it up but not so stiff it doesn’t wrap around those teeny tiny legs. You might go around saying ‘A real roper will make anything work.’ Well, yes, that’s true. But even a real roper makes sure he has his favorite rope.
- Be quick to coil it back up. Let’s face it, you’re going to miss. So you might as well be quick on coiling your rope back up so that maybe no one will know that you missed and you can continue….Ok, maybe not, but it helps to get it back in your hand.
- Roping is being in the right spot at the right time. Luck, Grandpa said to boil it down. However, the more different throws you have, the more ‘luck’ is going to show up for you. If you have a throw for every position out there and actually practice and know them, well then, you can get anything.
- Cooperate. There is one branding that I go to where all the ropers are put together at the same time. None of us are pro level ropers…our chutes have ruined us. But when we get down to lower levels of calves, they have a tendency to run all over, slipping between the horses and making roping harder. For crying out loud, don’t go for the one in the corner, help the other ropers push all the calves back to the corner so they can all rope. Don’t leave one or two ropers wandering around trying to push the calves in the corner. It’s not nice.
- Have fun and make friends. What is the fun of getting together if you don’t have any fun? Be the first one to laugh at your mistakes, tease a little, and enjoy the lunch. Lunch?? *stomach growling*
- Please. Pay attention to your horse. You can tell when he’s faking and when he’s seriously tired or when he’s just plain scared and needs to take things a little slower. Don’t be ashamed to get off and help with ear tags or something else. Just because you rope doesn’t mean that’s all you can do. Your horse is way more important than any little calf. If they need to, they can walk out there on foot and rope them. There’s always strong boys hanging around a branding.
So there we go. Top Ten. Please note, I am no professional. These are just things I learned over the three years of roping that have helped more or I’ve noticed.
Have fun, y’all!!!