Knowing Your Horse with JR Dees

Confidence in Your Mount
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Knowing what horse you’re on, and knowing his personality and his strengths, is key to success in the arena.

CONFIDENCE IS KEY

I really have grief if I’m on a horse and I don’t know what it’s going to do when I get somewhere. I’m able to be more excited than ever about rodeoing in 2018 because I know what horses to ride in what setups. It always seemed like I rode the wrong horse in the past, but I am finally where I know my horses and I can mentally be prepared to choose which horse to ride where.

FAST SETUP

If it’s a little fast arena, I like to ride my grey horse. He’s easy to go at the steers on because he’s really flat across there. He won’t duck. That’s a really hard part of going at steers in little arenas is being able to handle them so a guy can heel them, and after four years of practicing on this horse, he really has gotten that down.

LONGER SETUPS

At some rodeos or jackpots, you can tell the guys who are struggling to get there and the guys who aren’t. Having a fast enough horse is so important in those situations. It’s pretty easy for my black horse to get there. A lot of guys go to a roping and are throwing their whole rope the first round, while I’m just throwing half a coil the first round.

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BAD CONDITIONS

I’m going to ride my good ones no matter what. I’m going with my number-one everywhere. I don’t have a choice, because everywhere you go is so tough.

WAITING THEM OUT

A really good horse takes time. Guys have to hurry some along because they only have one or two, and I understand that. But if you want to make them really good, to where they can last seven, eight, ten years, you have to put time into them. You can’t go to hammering on them and ride them every day because they’re going to get blown up. The really good ones are, anyhow. 

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