Before last year’s National Finals Rodeo, I married my wife, Carrie. Then, we bought a place in Lipan, Texas, and that took me from just a rodeo cowboy to someone who had a whole lot more on my plate.

The place I bought really helped me grow up—which, I think, is going to change my roping quite a bit. I have a place to pay for, and I want to build fence and traps, which I’m doing myself to save money. To accomplish everything I want to accomplish, I’ll either have to make a really nice horse and sell it or I’ll have to win a lot of money, so I’m readjusting my priorities on both fronts.

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As a kid, an old friend told me I needed to go do different things, because roping will never go anywhere. Rodeo will always be there; ropings will always be there. I never listened to him until I bought this place, and I love working on it. Rodeoing is just as important to me—I never want to miss the NFR again, and when all this gets squared away I’ll be 100% back into it. But in 2020, the financial situation called for different measures.

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With that said, I think this new perspective can really change my roping. Because I’ve been focusing on building our place, I haven’t been jackpotting in a while. The other day, I finally cracked back out. I gave my horse the reins, kicked her to a spot and heeled whenever I could. I’ve never been a great jackpotter, because I was always overthinking. But now, I’ve got more to worry about than just roping. So, if I just go rope the way I want to rope, and rope aggressive, I’ll have a better shot than ever before.

If I think I’ll just go get through the runs in the whole roping, I’ll win the same amount as if I miss one—nothing. I have to be aggressive, and I have to just let it all go. That’s the new approach I’m taking now that life is so much different than it was before COVID, before I was married and before I had a place to pay off. 

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Editor’s Note: Anderson will rope with Wyatt Imus in 2021.

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