Horses that come with a lot of natural ability and power usually require ropers to manage their minds, ensuring that they’re ready to perform and comfortable with control. Here’s how I manage a rope horse that’s strong and fast and keep them under control.
These kinds of horses need to spend their time in the practice pen making smooth runs. I don’t like to ask them to do anything drastic.
2. Calm in the Box
On horses like this, I want to ask them to stand in the box without picking on them. I don’t want to fight. Don’t beat them up over every little thing. If he wants to move forward, that’s fine. Just go forward and back and navigate him where you want him to go calmly with your feet and your bridle reins.
3. The Move
If there’s a steer that tries a little harder, I like to let the horse make his natural, athletic move.
4. Moments of Weakness
If that horse feels strong leaving the box and stays strong, you can pull him in the ground, stop him, then relax and try again. Don’t make a 10-minute ordeal about it. Collect your thoughts, let him collect his thoughts, and then try again.
5. Slow Steers
After a run where my horse wants to be too strong, I’ll run a really slow steer, let my horse go to him, and then stop him again. I will back him up in a couple circles and back him up in circles to reinforce all the work I did to get him broke, and then take off after the steer again. Then I’ll take off in control up the arena again and drag him back when we get to the steer.
6. Back Down to the Box
If I’ve stopped him going to the steer, I’ll also lope him back down away from the steer toward the box and ask him to stop heading back that way, too.
7. Level Out
If he wants to be strong again, I give him a chance to level off by taking swings over the steer’s back and letting him put the pieces together. If he does that, that’s a heck of a good place to stop. I’ll score, and then I’ll put him up.
Did you learn something from 7 Tips for Managing a Rope Horse That Gets Too Strong? Kirchenschlager’s full training library is only on Roping.com.