Having It All: Balancing Roping, Family and Work
Balancing the team roping lifestyle with having a family, running a business, or working full time is a monumental task. From early-morning practice sessions to all-night drives from junior rodeos to school the next morning, these work-life balance superheroes are pulling out all the stops when it comes to having it all.

Jason Adams

From: Logandale, Nevada

Number: 8 header, 8 heeler

Big Win: California Rodeo Salinas Champion Header 2011 

Job: Owner, Bex

Family: Hailey (wife); kids Presley, 7, Arbor, 5, & Memphis, 2

Adams runs Bex out of offices in Logandale and Las Vegas, Nevada.

WORK LIFE: It’s really regimented. Everything is on a schedule now. It’s an ongoing process—working smart not hard. When you start to really believe and understand the value of time management and how much your time is worth is when you really start to be productive as an organization. When you’re small, you’re down in the business, but when you transition and grow, you start to feel less productive because you’re not doing all of the things you used to. When I stepped back and stopped doing that, you realize a productive day doesn’t mean the same things it used to. I work out in the mornings. I work Mondays and Fridays in Logandale, and Tuesday through Thursday I’m in Las Vegas. I work at the office from 8 a.m. to 2 or 3 p.m., depending on what’s going on. I spend the afternoons with my kids, doing anything I need to do as far as answering emails and management. And in the evenings, I get to rope.

ROPE LIFE: My roping is not as clean in the sense of style points, but I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything in terms of approach or competition. When I was too close to it, trying to do it full-time, I had to make sure everything was perfect. Now that I’m not doing it to try to make the NFR, I don’t care as much and I can appreciate that as long as the rope goes around the horns and the feet.

PRACTICE TIME: 7:30 p.m., three days a week

SECRET: I accept the role I have, and I relish being in that role. I’m grateful to be a son to my mother, who is a widow, a brother to my brothers and sisters, a husband to my wife, a father to my kids, and a manager in a company. I’ve got a calling in my church, and I’m grateful that this is my life even if there isn’t a lot of extra time. n

Tammy Ellerman 

From: Fort Lupton, Colorado

Number: 5 header, 4 heeler

Big Win: 2014 Reno Rodeo Invitational Team Roping Champion Header

Job: Farm and ranch real estate agent, Orr Land Co. 

Family: Jay (husband); kids Taya, 35, and Brit, 25

Ellerman hasn’t let her roping get rusty despite a career in real estate.

• WORK LIFE: I’ve evolved to a specialist in horse properties. I work a lot of hours each week. One thing about real estate—you can never get away. It’s a blessing and a curse. People want to look at stuff after hours or on weekends, and I find I will work 12 hours a day some days. Some days it’s slower, so that’s when I try to fit in cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, and roping.

• ROPE LIFE: When the kids were little, I had to improvise. Jay was gone rodeoing or showing horses a lot, so I had to rope with other people. We would sometimes put them in the back of the truck in the swing or the sand box. As soon as they got big enough to ride, we had ponies for them to sit on. I had great family—sisters, aunts, uncles, grandmothers. If I needed someone to take them for the weekend, I always had a great support team. I took a couple teenage girls that were friends of ours, and they’d play with them and help out. But it never fails, every time you ride in the heading box, your kids start screaming. I know I wasn’t concentrating as much—you know it’s yours. After time, you learn they’re fine, and you can do what you have to do and come back and get them. The toughest job you’ll ever do is being a parent.

• PRACTICE TIME: Whenever we get a chance! There’s no telling.

• SECRET: I want to run live cattle and not the machine. You learn that it’s not the number you run, if you’re working on something on your horse or your roping and you get it accomplished, that’s enough. I might call the kids or Jay when I get a break from work, and they’ll have my horse saddled and the steers loaded so I can run five in my spare half hour. Also, I’m a clean freak, so I have learned that there can be a little bit of stuff around and not every weed has to be pulled. You want everything perfect, but I’ve learned that it’s OK to spend more time with my family and do something else.

Jenny Gilbert

From: Billings, Montana

Number: 5-Elite header, 5 heeler

Big Win: World Series of Team Roping Silesia, Montana #11 Champion Header 2017

Job: Owner, Go Rope Apparel

Family: Denver (husband); kids Molly, 11, and Brody, 7

Gilbert with son Brody.

WORK LIFE: My husband, Denver, is a former PRCA bull dogger and was an event director in the PRCA, too. He owns a farm and ranch real estate company, and he’s a real estate agent and broker. I started Go Rope Apparel five years ago now. I’m going a million different directions with a million irons in the fire. As a mom, my day can’t be as structured as some people’s—there are days you have a kid with a fever, or their friend’s birthday party you forgot about. There are so many challenges in scheduling. I run my business at home so I never step away from my family.

• ROPE LIFE: My whole perspective on roping, and my ability as a roper, has changed in the last year or two. I won’t be able to put in the time I need to in the practice pen, and I have to accept it. With Go Rope being so busy, and my kids getting older, my mental game is better than ever because I know I don’t have to be at the peak of my game, roping-wise, but it’s awesome I get to go do it and have sound horses to do it on. At the end of the day I’m thankful I get to go do it.

• PRACTICE TIME: Evenings, once or twice a week.

• SECRET: I take my own advice and go rope when I need to take a break. I’m guilty of not stepping away from it and doing the things that make me a better person, but when I get the chance, I go do it. 

Mandy & Beau Hebert

From: Shreveport and Frierson, Louisiana

Number: 4 header, 4 heeler (Mandy); 5-Elite header, 5 heeler (Beau) 

Big Wins: #12 World Series of Team Roping in Graham, Texas June 2018 (Beau) 

Jobs: Co-owner, Turf Grass Farms, owner; The Grass and Rock Shop, (Mandy). Co-owner and salesman, Hebert’s Town and Country Dodge, Jeep and Ram (Beau). 

Family: Mandy’s daughters/Beau’s stepdaughters Sydnie Romero, 13, and Rylie Romero, 11

The Herberts took this photo at the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo this summer.

WORK LIFE: Mandy’s: I am very blessed to have great managers. I usually get the girls started in the morning, then I go into my office, which is next door to my home. I’ll meet with my general manager, and we’ll manage any concerns. I manage some family trusts, so we’ll look over that, too. Everyone who works for us has been working for my family for a long time. My dad died with pancreatic cancer the year I graduated college, so I took over, with the help of my mom and brother, really early in my career.

WORK LIFE: Beau’s: It used to be that I sold trucks while I was rodeoing to other ropers and guys on the road. Now I’m at the dealership every day, most days for 10 hours a day.

• ROPE LIFE: Mandy’s rope life: I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, and I’m just getting back into roping now. I don’t attack life like normal people do: I like to go from when my feet hit the ground until 11 p.m. or later every night. Here in the last two months, I’ve been able to get back to that. My last chemo treatment was the week of our kids’ junior high state finals, and I was there in the box, saddling horses, helping my girls. I didn’t miss a single junior rodeo during the whole chemo thing. Now, we’re back to normal in that we get up and rope in the mornings at 5 a.m. and rope until 10 a.m., and then rope under the lights at night.

• PRACTICE TIME: Daily, early morning or late at night.

• ROPE LIFE: Beau’s rope life: We sure max it out. I used to go to two jackpots and two or three rodeos a week. Now, I rope the dummy every day, twice a day, and have a dummy on the showroom floor. There are a bunch of team ropers in my area, and it’s so hot here, that people want to rope early in the morning. Then I can rope with the kids in the evenings.

• SECRET: Mandy’s secret: I started out as a very type-A personality, but I’ve learned to be more flexible as life got more complicated. And the people who work for us are really just outstanding and make it all possible.

• SECRET: Beau’s secret: I don’t walk by the dummy without roping it, and I make it as hard as I can. That makes it so when I’m in the short round, I don’t have anything to worry about. 

Josh Love

From: Loveland, Colorado

Number: 6 header, 6 heeler

Big Win: Reno Rodeo Invitational Consolation Champion Heeler 2018

Job: General Manager, Heel-O-Matic Training Systems

Family: Kids Jacie, 13, Jimmy, 10, and Lexi, 7

Josh heading for son Jimmy at a Resistol and Heel-O-Matic photo shoot.

WORK LIFE: I have a lot of help at Heel-O-Matic with a great team. We travel a lot, though, and manage a lot. But the kids come with me every chance we get. They come to Vegas, to Texas, wherever, and get to experience a lot.

• ROPE LIFE: I didn’t rope at all when the kids were little. Now they’re having fun riding and getting into it more, so we get to rope at night. They help exercise the horses and we’re really having fun with it together. They can even ride the green horses for a few days. We used to do some junior rodeo stuff, but now they’re into sports.

• PRACTICE TIME: Evenings, two to three nights a week.

• SECRET: I lose every time when it comes to balancing what the kids want with my roping. And that’s OK, because I want them to succeed. I don’t mind one bit.

 Dustin & Sarah Pool

From: Briscoe, Texas 

Number: 5-Elite header, 5-Elite heeler (Dustin); 3 header (Sarah)

Family: Son Rankin 6, daughter Ransley 4

Big Win: Second in the 2018 Panhandle Classic 12 (Dustin) 

Job: Measurement technician, Superior Pipeline (Dustin); Basketball and track coach and teacher at Wheeler High School (Sarah)

The Pools produce weekly jackpots in the summer in the Texas Panhandle.

WORK LIFE: Dustin’s work life: I work 40 hours a week, and then I go to the hay fields. We have about 300 head of mama cows my father-in-law runs.

• ROPE LIFE: Dustin’s rope life: We fit roping into our schedule after the kids practice at night. When it’s 105 degrees, we can’t start until late. We keep our own steers around and raise our own. We put on 11 pick/draws weekly for people in the area. It’s a nice little local jackpot. Mostly during the summer it’s keeping horses sharp and staying sharp myself. Once school starts, it slows down with the kids’ practicing, so if I need to tweak on stuff, that’s when I can do it. I catch myself just going through the motions and not concentrating. I’ve got to step back and take a deep breath.

WORK LIFE: Sarah’s work life: We work the month of June from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., But we have July and the first part of August off. I am the junior high basketball coach and the assistant to our head coach, so I go on Monday nights for junior high and Tuesday and Friday nights for the varsity and JV. Then we have tournaments—so Wednesday and Sundays are the only nights to rope during the school year.

• ROPE LIFE: Sarah’s rope life: We rope whenever we can. We have gone the past three years with our kids to the junior rodeos. I’m at a stage in my life where I choose to do it for my kids and not us. Roping at the house with my husband gives me the fix, not the competition. My son just started roping calves on horses, so that’s been fun. I’ve been in awe of seeing him do it. We go to track practice and my son hangs out at practice with me until 5 or 5:30 at night, and we rush home to saddle and get everything rode and get in bed and not get tired for school. My kids go to weight training with me in the mornings, then we wait until it cools off every night to rope. We nap during the day in the summer, because some nights we don’t finish until midnight. In July we transition to getting up at 6:30 and have horses saddled by 7 and get all of our practicing in in the morning so we can team rope at night.

• PRACTICE TIME: 9 or 10 at night, three nights a week.

• SECRET: Dustin’s secret: If there is a secret, I wish you’d tell me.

• SECRET: Sarah’s secret: We eat a lot of pizza March through May! My kids don’t complain. 

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