Ask the Pros–Taking the Jerk

Dear Clay,
I have a pretty green heeling horse and he is starting to fear the jerk. What can I do to prevent this?

Cody, Rawlins, Wyo.

Dear Cody,
Try not dallying on him in the practice pen a little bit and see if that helps. Just give him a little bit of a jerk now and then. Or, if you can rope calf-roping-sized calves that are a lot smaller and lighter that will give him kind of a jerk, but not a real one, that might build his confidence. You can rope a pull dummy that can be dallied and have the person who’s pulling it hardly hit you at all so it’s a real small, light pull and that might help build his confidence. Also, make sure he stops right, but don’t jerk his head off. Sometimes pulling on them a lot makes them scared of the jerk, too, being too heavy-handed. So I recommend trying some of those things.

Clay O’Brien Cooper

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