When we started talking about what to write for this New Year’s resolution-themed column, I was stuck. Honestly, I don’t know how I’ve ever done anything successful because there aren’t any secrets I can share with you. Here’s what I can say for sure: If you truly focus on adding consistency and discipline into your roping—and your life—there’s nothing you can’t do.
When I’m talking consistency, I’m talking consistent cues to your horses. If you’re going to show your horse certain cues with your legs or with your hands, show them cues consistently enough to make a habit, to where they can recognize those things so those buttons will be in them when you need them. Most people will learn about a button from a trainer, and ride a horse that has it, and go back home and try to implement it on their horse when they haven’t built in the knowledge of what that means. They’ll just stick a spur in their horse’s side and ask for a response that the horse hasn’t learned.
The beautiful thing about consistency: inconsistency requires so much more effort, like trying to get a week’s worth of stuff done in two hours. If you’ll give them something at a pace they can learn for 15 or 20 minutes a day, it will serve you and them better than trying to go for an hour because you lose an attention span in there—especially if your cues are inconsistent in that hour.
It can mean a lot of things. But here’s an example: Someone says, “I’m just going to work on scoring today,” and then something goes wrong out in the field and, instead of just scoring, they end up picking a fight about rate or the face. Or, “I’m just going to run five steers on this horse,” but then something goes wrong, so you run 20 and you’re both fried. Set limits for your practice before you go and be disciplined with those limits.
Both of these elements are something I’m trying to teach myself in every aspect of my life. If you’ll do those same things with people—as a parent, as a partner, as a friend—that’s the quickest way to the end goal. Clear communication, with consistent beliefs and discipline in those beliefs. In my relationships with my family and friends and in business, if I’m consistent and disciplined in my communication, I’m not going to let one thing turn into a big problem. I’m not going to lose my head. I’m going to use my head and process before I send whatever signal I’m going to send.