While nearly all the top professionals hold team roping schools at some point during the year, there are a handful of highly-credentialed ropers who are dedicated to teaching their skills to the average roper. These are cowboys who have put their time in at the professional level and now focus primarily on teaching. What sets them apart is their ability to teach-and to teach both ends. That's something that should not be overlooked as you look to spend your time and money to learn. Don't pay someone just to be in the same arena as they are. Pay someone you can learn from and who can improve your game. That said, never pass up an opportunity to rope with a great roper who is actively competing at rodeos. The chances to do that can be few and far between.
Another opportunity you should consider is National Roper's Supply's extensive training program. Nearly every weekend of the year, either a renowned instructor or their own in-house teacher is hosting a clinic. They have the unique ability to give you many different levels of instruction, rent you a horse, and even house you and your horse.
Below are some proven teachers and programs, along with some of the highlights of their respective formats. Following the program descriptions is a list of all the clinics and schools Spin To Win Rodeo was aware of at press time.
(866) 742-5394, www.rickeygreen.com
Rickey Green has been to the Wrangler NFR 11 times, won the average there, won the Bob Feist Invitational and trained five different NFR horses.
"I started teaching roping schools in 1982, five years after turning pro, mostly because I was asked to, due to my celebrity status not my teaching ability," Green said. "Even with the forward thinking instruction I was blessed to have had, it took me about ten years of teaching to start to put together a whole program for the header and heeler that encompassed every part of the team roping run."
During day one of Green's Power Team Roping schools, he takes you from A to Z in what it takes to make you into the roper you want to be in a one- and-a-half hour introduction. Then two-and-a-half hours of dummy work. Followed by video viewing to watch instruction on horse control, then four hours of roping cattle.
On the second day, students start with one hour of dummy roping. Followed by two hours of exercises on horse back for everything from leaving the box to riding your horse properly around the corner to heel a steer. The rest of the day you will be making runs and going over your mental game to get to the pay window.
(325) 247-2304, www.tylermagnus.com
Tyler Magnus is a 9-time Wrangler NFR qualifier, the average winner in 1995 a former Texas Circuit champion and winner of the George Strait Team Roping Classic. Furthermore, he's one of the few ropers who is equally outstanding heading or heeling and is known for his horsemanship abilities.
While you may have seen him on television, learning in person is even more valuable. Magnus's program strives to combine a relaxed learning environment with positive, progressive instruction to help each roper achieve the level of success they are looking for.
Magnus offers both heading and heeling lessons, heading and heeling horses, private lessons as well as group lessons. What's more, ropers can participate in week- or month-long camps in Texas hill country and basically live life like Tyler, however availability is limited.
NRS Roping Clinics
(800) GO-ROPIN, www.nrsworld.com
National Roper's Supply has gone to great lengths to support the development of team roping. They built a world-class facility, hired expert trainer, Krece Harris, provide good cattle and horses, bunkhouse rooms, food, trailer hook-ups and even allow you to 'test-drive' any of the equipment they carry in the store.
From the absolute beginner to someone looking to put the finishing touches on their game, there is a clinic for everyone. Even if you're just interested in doing groundwork, that is available, too.
The company also hosts clinics from Rickey Green, Tyler Magnus and Walt Woodard so every end of the roping-skill spectrum is covered.
(605) 943-5667, www.bobbyharrisropingschools.com
Bobby Harris is the 1991 world champion team roper, a three-time Wrangler NFR average champion and 17-time qualifier.
In addition to clinics and schools across the country, Harris also offers a week-long roping camp. The camps are limited to five headers and five heelers with the goal of slowing down the pace to focus on each student's different needs.
Located in Ree Heights, S.D., the summertime week-long camps host twice-daily sessions, video recaps of each run and even a little downtime. Students are welcome to stay in their own trailer on the premises or get a hotel and home-cooked meals are provided each day.
Other teachers and their basic information: Walt Woodard
(209) 462-0973, www.waltwoodard.com
(303) 857-4810, www.ellerman.com
(928) 530-4848, www.craighamiltonhorsemanship.com