After a summer of having to be 3.0 in tough setups, I’ve had to transition to being more patient in the corner and letting the run develop, making sure I hold my lane until the steer makes the first move. I work on not trying to guess what’s going to happen. I want my horse’s shoulder’s up, so I can ride him all the way around the tracks of the steer.
1. Find the right pace
The further you go in the summer, the steers get older and the times get fast, and my internal clock gets to going fast. At the end of the year, I can be trigger-happy, and the process seems to speed up. When I get home and go into jackpot mode, the process happens slower and the steers are sharper, and I have to be more patient to smooth myself out.
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2. Let the steer make the first move
I’ve been working on having control of my horse in the corner and letting the steer make the first move before I start my entry in the corner. That way I can drive with my feet and ride all the way through the steer’s tracks.
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3. Don’t cut the corner
For me, when you’re coming from behind, at the World Series a lot of times, the heelers start the same place as the header, and the box is deep because the score is so short. You’re chasing the run, so most heelers will make the mistake of cutting across the corner. When you do that, you’re not only too far to the inside, but you’re trapped and have no momentum. It changes the angle of your swing, your horse and your position. It’s a riskier shot.
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I try to tell people to make sure, no matter what angle you’re coming in from, you should follow the tracks of the steer. You want your horse’s shoulders up, and you want to drive all the way around the arena with the steer.
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5. Stay light and smooth
I want my horse coming off the bridle, and I want him real light with my left hand so I have control at all time. I want his shoulders to be up the whole time as that corner starts to happen. If he starts pulling his shoulders before the steer has committed his direction, you’re guessing. If I can remain in control until the steer starts to get pulled, everything can flow forward and smooth and I have a spot to ride to. TRJ