Heel Shot with Whitney DeSalvo
Whitney DeSalvo leads the Cinch Ladies Standings with over $44,000 won in 2017 in USTRC money alone, and she talks readers through her patented heel shot here


We are at Ryan Motes’ house for a photo shoot.


The steers that day were pretty fresh. This one in particular fought his head a bit, and right before I threw he started to go under the head horse and go down a bit. I lost sight of him right before my delivery, but it somehow worked out.

Position with Steer

My position with the steer isn’t ideal right here. It’s hard to tell, but I’m directly behind him with not much view at all of the feet from him coming under me. A more ideal position would be the left hip lined up with my right leg. But you never know what you’re going to get with fresh ones and nine times out of ten it’s never ideal!


In this run, I’m just starting to grab my slack. I had to hold it a little higher and longer on this one because I lost sight a bit.


The horse I’m on is Becky. She’s 5, and she’s the easiest horse I’ve ever ridden. She makes it easy when they’re fresh like these steers were because she’s so forgiving and just lets me do my job.

Body Position

I try to keep my shoulders square with the steer the entire run. If my shoulders are square then my swing will be square.


Kayelen (Helton) was just taking a good start all day. This steer ran hard and to the right and fought his head a little. She did a great job keeping him on his feet.


I see the whole picture throughout the run. I try to keep my swing anywhere from behind the shoulders to over the hips of the steer—depending on my distance. When it comes time for my delivery, my focal point is mainly the left hock because that’s where I want to finish.


I roped him more with my tip than I did with the middle of my loop. It’s still big and open. My ideal loop is to rope with the middle of my rope where the tip comes through all the way past the left leg verses the tip catching the left leg, which is what I did here.

Feet Position

My left leg is a bit high right here. But I’m still squeezing my horse through the delivery to get that big, open loop. I think the reason it’s high is because I got a little exposed to the right when I lost sight of the steer.

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