5 Flat

Following Your Steer’s Tracks
Remembering to ride a patient position is key to consistent catches.
"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 File Photos / Jamie Arviso

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

TRJ File Photos / Jamie Arviso

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. 

READ MORE: Building Confidence in Young Rope Horses

2. Let the steer make the first move

TRJ File Photos / Jamie Arviso

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.

READ MORE: Make Your Steers Last Longer

3. Don’t cut the corner

TRJ File Photos / Jamie Arviso

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. 

READ MORE: Heel Horse Box Work Tips

4. Drive

TRJ File Photos / Jamie Arviso

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. 

READ MORE: 5 Challenges Heelers Face

5. Stay light and smooth

TRJ File Photos / Jamie Arviso

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

WATCH: Learn from world champion heeler, Wesley Thorp exclusively on Roping.com

SHARE THIS STORY
CATEGORIES
TAGS
Related Articles
Driggers and Culpepper_SanAntonio_09_TRJFilePhoto
Big Break
Kaleb Driggers’ Breakout San Antonio Win in ’09
March_24_2023_NFR_R05_TR_Tyler Wade_Wesley Thorp_HRae_002
Standing on Business
Forged From the Fire of Humble Beginnings
Rocky Gaudious gets his dally as Jon Kelly prepares to throw a championship heel shot at American Hero Celebration.
Veterans Day
Charly Crawford Creates NFR Atmosphere for American Heroes, Sends U.S. Army Vets Gaudious and Kelly Home with $21K Champion Checks
March_24_KelseyRussey-MeganGunter_10
USTRC Cinch Ladies Race
Caroline Taylor and Nicole Jauregui Skyrocket to the Top of the USTRC Cinch Ladies Standings
Callahan Taylor and Maverik Franks won the #11.5 USTRC at the Lasso del Sol
USTRC RESISTOL JR. RACE
Header Callahan Taylor Takes the Lead while the Heelers Put Heat on Houston Childers