Catching Contests: Harrison Discusses How to Catch Every Steer as a Helper in Horse-Show Scenarios

Joseph Harrison discusses how he mastered catching every steer as a helper in horse-show scenarios.


My mindset and game plan is totally different between a rodeo or open jackpot and a horse show. I know when I pull into a show or futurity that I have to catch every steer by two feet between the first and third hop. It’s not like I can speed up and necessarily make that much of a difference in the score. If I do speed up, and the head horse wasn’t ready, he might not face good. I might have shaved a half-second off our time but cost us two points because the head horse didn’t face. A good solid run at those deals is what does the best.


I have to keep everything out in front of me. I have to keep the steer straight and hazed for my partner. I want to keep the steer in front of me to not be forced into a bad throw.

In Control

I want to pick up on my horse and hold him where I want him as the turn starts to happen. I can tell how fast my header is going to pull the steer. I try to mirror the steer. It’s almost the same as at a jackpot but my time frame isn’t crunched. I have to go through the basics and get two footers every time.


The steer’s tail head doesn’t lie. If the tail head is up, then his legs are up and back. If his head is down and his shoulder is up, then his legs are down and forward, then his legs are on the ground. When his tail head starts to come up, and I’m in the time of my swing and my position to match, then I go down from the tail head to the hock and put a bottom strand on the ground and break it off the hock.

{ Vital Stats }

Age: 31

Rope: NV4 and Powerline Lite HM by Classic

NFR Qualifications: 2

Home: Overbrook, Oklahoma

EARNINGS: $403,170.02

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