Finding Your Lane While Heading with Garrett Tonozzi


The header’s position gets overlooked a lot, and positions change for every roper at any level. There are some NFR ropers who break to the pin, and others who break wide. As you’re developing your roping, you need to learn where you’re most comfortable leaving the box.

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Too Narrow?

If you’re riding too narrow for your horse and your throw, you could be waving it off. For me, if I try to break to the pin and throw fast, I’m going to throw to the right of the steer. Speed Williams, though, used to break to the pin and throw fast, and obviously he had a lot of success doing that.

Too Wide?

If you need to ride your horse to the steer to keep him from cheating you, you might want to work on breaking more narrow to keep him honest. Breaking to the pin, in that situation, can help keep your forward momentum to the steer.


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Speed Factor

For me, riding a really fast horse, I want to be a little wider so I’m not just blowing up on a steer at a bad angle. If you’re on a really fast horse, the horns are coming at you and it’s easy to split them if you’re in behind him.

Finding the Fit

Figuring out your lane is something that’s good to do on the ground on the dummy, and, even better, riding your horse behind a sled. That way, you can control where the steer is (unless your wife thinks she’s funny and messes with you).


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