Good horsemanship in breakaway roping allows you to make high percentage shots every time because you’re in the same position every run. Horsemanship allows you to give your horse consistent repetition so he gives you the same shot every time you come out of the box.
In breakaway roping, your start is almost everything because you’ve just got to be so fast. And the start you get depends on your level of horsemanship. Your horse has to be so good and still in the box, and you’ve got to have the feel to make that happen. You need to have your horse still and calm enough to leave in a straight line the second you drop your hand forward and hit the barrier strong.
When you’re riding your horses to the best of your ability, you’re keeping your horse between your bridle reins and your legs. You aren’t moving your hands much over his neck, but moving your horse with your legs instead. This increases your ability to control every part of your horse with your body position.
So much of your legwork involves where your hips and shoulders are. If you let your shoulders roll forward, you’ll get bent at the waist and take the weight out of your stirrups that you need for control and moment in throwing your loop. Your chest should be out and your shoulders back when you leave the box, tipping your toes slightly downward and moving your stirrup leathers back, with good weight in your stirrups. This all keeps your horse moving straight and forward, with steady momentum.
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