A High Top Strand: Jeremy Buhler Talks RodeoHouston Winning Run
Jeremy Buhler breaks down the 5.5-second run that earned him a RodeoHouston team roping title.

SITUATION:

Final round, RodeoHouston, Rhen Richard and Jeremy Buhler

TIME:

5.5 seconds

PAYOUT:

$50,000 a man

Jeremy Buhler and Rhen Richard team roping at RodeoHouston in 2023. Letters on the image correlate to respective sections in the article.
graphic showing the following stats for Jeremey Buhler: age:35; Rope: Powerline Lite HM by Classic; Partner: Brady Minor; Home: Arrowwood, Alberta; World titles: 1

a) Mental Game: I didn’t have it in my head that first paid $50,000 and second paid $20,000 and there was a leg already. All I’m really trying to do is go through my checklist of my fundamentals. For me, in those situations, it’s easy to get caught up in the big payout. I try to focus on the process and what I’m trying to do. Because, there, even if they come out and beat the crap out of us, even catching two feet, we’ll win $10,000. 

b) Hoss: He’s really trying to get on his butt and separate when I deliver. That separation allows my posture to stay forward so I can stay with my heel loop. If the horse isn’t on his butt and separating when you start your delivery, it’s easier to make the mistake of making the separation happen with your body, and that throws everything out of whack. This isn’t the greatest ground for a horse to stop in, so I like that he’s really working here no matter what. 

[READ MORE: Dustin Bird Breaks Down His Record-Breaking Run at the Montana Circuit Finals]

c) Right Hand: Basically, what I’m trying to do right here, as the loop is leaving my hand, I’m waiting for my tip to get ahead of my hand. Before this picture, I let off just a hair. I want to get my top strand to come in high. If you think about it, from a logical point of view, if your top strand comes in higher in the flank—say there’s 2 feet of room below that for your tip to come through—if you aim for the right hock instead of the flank, it leaves you a bigger area for the rest of the loop to come through. 

d) Feet: I wish my spur wasn’t into him here. I feel like pushing one through the stop with my spur is a mixed signal. If I have a right spur in his ribcage, if he were listening right there, he’d be getting off of my spur. If I could fix that, I’d have my right toe turned in more. 

e) Position: Especially at Houston, the team roping didn’t look rough because everybody roped badly—it looked rough because those steers were fairly fresh; they were hitting super far down the arena, no matter what your header did. My header did a great job there, but they were still wanting to wash and hit down away. My game plan was to get farther down the arena so that, when they hit down like that, I wasn’t to the inside. 

[READ MORE: Riley Minor Breaks Down First Run at Mike Cervi Jr. Memorial Team Roping]

f) Steer: Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp ran that steer twice. The first time they ran him, they had to win that round of their set to advance, which they did. So I was talking to Wesley about it, and he said that steer would be better if he could see you right off the bat because he wanted to be stronger and right. So our game plan going into it was that I was going to try to get a really good start. I didn’t want to jump him to make him go left; I just wanted him to see me. I wanted to trickle along with him. 

g) Distance Between Coils and Right Hand: I like how that rope is tight between my coils and my right hand. That helps the top strand hit high, too … because Walt Woodard says so. That’s something I struggled with in 2019. I slipped a lot of legs, and it was because my top strand was hitting low and a lot of that stemmed from having too much between my hands.  

h) Rhen: His angle to the steer here really helped us. On a deal like this, especially when the steers are strong, it allows him to keep the steer’s head bent to where he can’t get loose. It’s easier to open up that stride. If he were more out in front of the steer, it would make the steer harder to heel because he’s not going to open up as much. TRJ

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