About a month before this year’s Bob Feist Invitational, I went to a jackpot at Robertson Hill in Texas. I left there frustrated with myself and my horses, and I wasn’t sure what all was going wrong.
The next day, I went to Kaleb Driggers’ house to try some horses. He pointed out to me that I was leaning toward the steer, trying to get to it faster. I was twisting my shoulders too much toward the steer, leaning forward and getting my feet behind me. That basically put the Jake brake on. When I’m home, I don’t have anyone to ask for help—but being in Texas around the best guys in the world, I was able to figure a lot more out.
[SHOP: Francis' Gear]
When I got home, I spent a whole month working on my shoulders. Every day, I rode six or seven horses breaking in steers. And every run I made, I focused on sitting up in the saddle and letting my horse run to the steer. I kept it in my mind when I backed in the box.
At the Roping
I don’t have it perfect yet, but I rode my horse, Dude, pretty well at the BFI and he ended up winning the Top Head Horse Award. If I ride him, he works. I was mad at him just a month before, but making that adjustment really made the difference.