When I get to a roping, I spend a lot of time on his back just getting him used to the facility and the arena to get past the nerves and get his mind back. I do a lot of slow, easy work in the box and try to keep his feet moving. I never want to jam a young or green horse into the corner, so I work to keep him soft, calm, and listening by getting on early.
I don’t want to try to win go-rounds or go too fast on a green horse. I take a green horse for the sake of the horse, instead of to win the roping. A big thing riding a green horse is to be real with your situation and keep your expectations realistic, so you’re fair to yourself and your horse, so he can live up to their his potential. I don’t want to ride a green horse on too fast or too slow cattle, with too long or too short of a barrier.
Always let your rope go after a run on a green head horse. I want my horse to breathe and think about what he just did, eliminating the chase-factor of racing to follow the steer out of the arena. That will help prevent the blow-up.
Reeling Him In
If your young horse gets on the muscle during the roping, it’s good to get to the warm-up pen between runs and keep his shoulders free and his front feet moving, keeping him listening to me more.
What Not To Do
Pulling on his face, or setting him in the ground, will only cause more problems. A horse gets stronger to the bridle and more nervous the more you pull on him. I put him into small circles and release him into those small circles. I want him to work himself and find his own way to calm down.