Comfortable Reaching? Egusquiza’s Advice on When It Works and When It Won’t
Dustin Egusquiza is the most prolific reacher of this generation, but he’s also mastered the layup, too. Here’s how he’s evolved.

Trial and Error

I grew up reaching, so that’s been where I was the most comfortable. But over the years, I’ve done a ton of trial and error. I go to ropings every day, and sometimes I’m doing something wrong, and then doing stuff right, and learning when to do what. San Antonio is always one of my favorite rodeos of the year, but my other favorite rodeos are Pendleton, Salinas and Cheyenne, so I really do have to focus on riding my horse and roping the steer.

Lesson Learned

Now I have an idea of what each roping will be like before it starts, and what the setup will be like. Here lately, I’ve been starting out just catching the first one and speeding up if I need to. I sped up a little bit too much in the first round at the BFI this year, and I caught up pretty fast and I missed. I could have just laid up and caught him and sped up later, but I’ll remember that next year.

Know Your Roping Blueprint with VonAhn 

Dustin Egusquiza isn’t afraid to get some help from some of the best in the business. Click the image to find out how Speed Williams has changed Egusquiza’s heading game. Jaime Arviso Photo


I feel like I’ve grown a little more, and I’m not just a one-header kind of guy. Over the years, I’ve tried to buy a horse or two that works more like what the guys who are great jackpotters and versatile ropers ride.

Rodeo Ropers vs. Jackpot Ropers

Knowing What Works

While I’ve been making adjustments, in a situation like the Lone Star Shootout, when we had to be 5.5 at high call to win the roping, I knew my horse was tight and he’d duck. It would have been really hard to just lay up.

At that point, it’s too late—you can’t stop the roping and go home and practice. If I’d have had another horse, I’d have gotten on him, really. I was thinking, “Ride across the line, use your legs and take the shot you see.” And, I took it.

Forward Motion with Dustin Egusquiza

Related Articles
Dustin Equisquiza backed in the box on his horse, ready to take his first swing
Lone Star Ropes
How to Get Some Zzzzzip on That First Swing
Jake and Clay standing on either side of a trophy saddle.
what it takes
"If they write an epitaph on my life, I want it to say that my life was about more than winning."
Wesly Thorp heeling on Juiced Up Cat
Building Confidence in Young Horses
Nelson Wyatt turning a steer to win Bigfork, Montana’s ProRodeo with Chase Tryan.
Creating More Opportunities for Your Heeler
Coy Rahlmann and Jonathan Torres riding next to each other at California Rodeo Salinas
5 Flat
Coy Rahlmann's Salinas-Winning Secrets