Since the NFR, I’ve been getting myself and my horses in a better position to be more consistent through the corner, and, in turn, giving my heelers a better look at the feet. Shay (Carroll) and I talk about it quite a bit, and since he really likes to head, too, we have a lot to talk about.
I’ve been working on developing control by working on the dummy, steer stopping and breakawaying on my head horses to keep them paying attention to me.
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In doing that, I’ve been using less bit and bridle and riding my horses more. I’m trying to go through the motions of the run with as much control as I can gain with less bridle. That way, when I get to the jackpot or rodeo, they’re doing what they need to be doing and I have enough control in the event I need to make a change throughout the run.
Ultimately, I’m trying to get the steer on the end of the rope as quickly as possible. I don’t want him to roll around the corner or whip where the hips break over 90 degrees. I want the steer to square up and jump away. I want to have enough control it doesn’t matter if the steer goes right or left—I’m able to push my horse forward through the turn and then slow down after the turn so the steer can sit on the end of the rope so the steer can take a first hop consistently regardless of where the cow is.