Situation: First round of the Open Roping at the USTRC National Finals XXXI presented by Cinch in Fort Worth, Texas,

Format: I thought that it was a good roping. I thought they scored the steers a little too far for the building. It was a tough setup for that. The steers were older. I thought as a whole the steers were pretty good, I just felt like the start was a little too long.

The Breakdown:

HANDLE

Those steers were really heavy. They were bigger, kind of old school steers, They’re really my favorite kinds of steers to rope. You don’t see them a whole lot anymore. I wanted to make sure that I had a hold of their heads. Once I had a hold of them, I wanted to get out in front of them and keep them moving—keep them alive on the end of it.

HORSE

That’s a horse we call Sparky. He’s a Dual Spark horse that Bobby Lewis raised. He was good in the field, but not in the box. My son has been riding him at a bunch of World Series, so he didn’t score very good out there. I was having to trick him to get him out the barrier.

Kids' Horse Must-Haves with JoJo LeMond

STEER

I was late on him. That horse jumped and I pulled so I missed the barrier. We had to run him down and get him caught.

RICH

I think we were 7 on that steer. I think I was 6.9, and he was probably .1 on that one. He heeled that one pretty fast.

LEFT HAND

I was just driving him—getting in front of him. I was trying to push him forward. That horse wants to bottom out, so I just have to push him up and get him out of the ground.

LEGS

I’m squeezing him forward. My left leg is on him there helping me push him up. That horse really wants to drop going back, so I need to help push him forward.

MENTALITY

I wasn’t prepared and wasn’t ready for the roping. It hadn’t sunk in until I backed into run the first steer, and my horse felt like he wasn’t going to score. I was just trying to get by, honestly. I wasn’t mentally prepared or physically prepared. When I got done with that roping, I told my 14-year-old boy that I would never enter another roping without being prepared. I felt like a fish out of water. It didn’t feel comfortable to me. That’s the first time in a very long time.

I just ride cutting horses now and I haven’t been working at my roping. I thought it would be like riding a bicycle, and I’d be ready. I learned a pretty good lesson there.

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