Obviously, this is a jackpot. I try to run closer and the steers were pretty fresh there. It looks like that horse is trying to drop just a touch and I’m pushing him forward and holding him up. That horse is owned by Jackie Gillespe and they call him Hippie. I try to stay square with my saddle. I try to keep my body still so my horses can’t read it. I just ride with my left hand and my legs. I want my buckle to stay even with my saddle horn-as far as my lower body-and I try to ride my horses with my legs. For my upper body, I try to frame myself with the buttons of my shirt between my horse’s ears, going down his neck. Especially jackpotting, you can keep your body posture a lot better than when you’re trying to be 3.5.
Round 10 at the 2008 National Finals Rodeo
This is my main horse, Bull. That steer came left pretty hard and I was pushing forward. I was really lined up there, but I was still having to push my horse out and get him away from the steer. A lot of times I have a lot of rope out, but I want my horses driving forward, almost like a bulldogging horse. Bull is so broke that anytime I put a foot in him or touch him he reacts to it. I try to keep him really free and moving forward so he never takes my throw away. If I put my left foot in him and hold him up, he never wants to drop back. Some guys, like Trevor [Brazile], he wants his horses to drop and really tear the ground up and get ahold and step over themselves. Bull’s a little bit smaller and I think if I got to doing that on him, I could tear him up pretty fast.
I really want to keep him pushing forward and rounding-almost like Viper, Speedy’s [Williams] horse. He was the first horse that would do it. He was so free and flat and then he’d just round and the steers would just hit and follow him right around there. That’s what I try to pattern my deal after. Speed pioneered that and everybody else was so far behind him. There were no mixed motions, everything was forward momentum. There was no pulling off or stepping out. It was just a lot faster. A lot of guys still want a horse to drop and flex out. I feel like the more you do that on a horse, the faster he’s going to learn to take your rope away from you.
Second Round Win in San Angelo, 2009
In this picture, I’m riding Bull, and he is really free, so I have to put a lot of right foot on him and really pull on him. With some other horses, like in the first picture, I can push forward.
That steer actually checked up a lot, I wanted to reach for him a pretty good ways. I gave him a tick further on the barrier. I was trying to get away from that steer, so I’m driving and pushing forward and ahead. I’m really trying to get him away from the steer. It looks like that steer is low-headed and he’s trying to set up a little. I’m trying to get away to make the separation happen.
I’m kind of leaned out and cueing him. He’s really free so you have to cue him more than you would other horses. I’m still pushing him forward-or pushing his head in toward the steer.
Randon rides so much higher that I have to get the steers to hit harder and switch in front of his horse. For Martin, I always drove past the steer and had forward momentum the whole time and never let my horse drop back. For Randon, you have to get some more set and get those steers to switch just a touch harder so he can pick them off.
Tying the World Record (3.5 seconds) in Corpus Christi, 2009
That was a really good steer. I was a little bit rocked back with my throw and so I was just pulling and trying to get that steer to hit. Randon [Adams] and I had been at home working on getting those steers to hit in front of him a lot harder. I was dropping right there. I was wanting my horse to come back in that little building and step over himself. I felt like at the Finals I got the steers running around in a big circle and running up the rope. There was no corner. So here, it looks like I’m drawing him back, really hard, got his head down and trying to get that steer to hit. Everything is straight and I’m lined up. I’m a little bit rocked over in my lower body.
This horse is really, really droppy. I thought he’d be good to ride at the Finals. He’s a calf horse/heel horse that Kent Youngblood owns named CD. He’s kind of like Trevor’s horses. He drops and comes back. I was just trying to stay up over him and keep him moving forward to keep from washing those steers out. I’m lined up pretty good, and I’ve got my feet in him driving him forward.