How to Slow Your Heel Horse Down with Chase Tryan

Slowing a heel horse back down after a weekend jackpot.


Sometimes you take a green heel horse, or even a more seasoned horse, to a roping and run fresher steers, and the horse gets to pushing into the bridle and gets chargy down the arena and through the corner. When that happens, it may take a while to get him tuned back down. I’m going to rope the sled and work on getting him slowed down.


I’m going to have my four-wheeler driver go decently fast down the arena, and then ask that he or she slows down in the corner to get my horse rating and reading the cow better. I’ll back him off gently, or I’ll let him run by a little bit to allow him to realize that he’s messing up. I like to let my horses figure out their mistakes on their own if I can.


The last thing I want to do is pick a fight with him. I don’t want him confused and mad. As soon as I start picking a fight, I’m done for the day. I like to show them the same thing over and over and let them try to figure it out on their own. I have gotten mad at my horses before, but that isn’t the best way to go about it.

I like the dummy because you can stop them and turn around and do it again. To be clear, I don’t feel like setting them in the ground when they get chargy is the best way to do it because they’ll get to the steer and stop and take your throw away. I’ll keep going with the steer even if he’s too close and let him learn he needs to back off. You can stop them, but not abruptly.


I will rope the sled on him until he figures it out. Then I’ll go rope live cattle, and I’ll go back and rope the sled again. Live steers bring out holes in horses because there are so many uncontrolled variables, but going back to a controlled situation can help reel it all back in.