After finishing 2018 16th, Spencer Mitchell will count on horsepower to get him into NFR contention again in the new year.

Familiar Spot 

I’ve missed making the NFR by $4,000-or-under five times. The common denominator in those five times? Those are the years I’ve struggled with horses. I’ve had to put down five good horses in four years. It’s happened at a crucial moment when I really needed that horse.

Catching More Steers

I wasn’t smart enough to know when to slow down and know when to win a check. I’m getting more adapted to that now as I get older. I want to catch more steers and get more average checks. I will need more average-type horses this year to feel more confident going into two-, three- or four-head rodeos.

[Read/Listen: The Score's Season 2 Kicks Off Jan. 24 with Spencer Mitchell]

The Horse

I need a horse I won’t have to reach on unless I have to—something I’ll have confidence in to make a sharper run farther down the arena. I’ve got two older horses for 2019 that fit the bill. I’ve got a sorrel mare I rode most of last year that we call Megan. She’s really good for the smaller, shorter set ups. Just toward the end of last year, I bought a sorrel horse that we call Houdini who’s more talented every time I ride him.

Consistent Swing 

I’ve been trying to practice slowing myself down to be more consistent. I’ve adjusted my roping and tried to change my swing a little bit. I’ve been making my loops sharper. I’ve gotten a smaller loop, and I’ve been trying to focus on doing a better job riding and relying on my horses instead of just my rope.

[Read More: Buckle Up with Spencer Mitchell]  

Partner?

I’m roping with Cody Doescher. I’ve talked to quite a few people, and I like having a partner who’s aggressive, because that keeps me aggressive. If a guy can make a good run, a person should win a check. I want a partner who will take a risky shot but still be consistent.

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