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Trevor Brazile wants his head horses BROKE, not patterned. Here’s what that means.
Trevor Brazile roping on a bay horse (Royal Crown Champion Step N Small Town).
Trevor Brazile on Royal Crown Champion 4-year-old Step N Small Town (Wimpys Royal King x Small Town Blondys). | TRJ File Photo

What I look for in a horse is one that is so easy that you can make a mistake and the horse will overcome it. That’s an indispensable trait. A lot of people will say that they have to hide their delivery or they can’t expose themselves. I want my horses so easy that, whether I ride sloppy or whether somebody else gets on my horse, they do their job regardless.

They may be anticipating it, but they’re not acting on that anticipation. If they’re leaning on this left rein, when you’ve got your rope on the horn, they’re not going to go left until you give them a body language cue or release them. I don’t want to have to be chasing my horse’s moves. I don’t want them just in a pattern to where I have to rope and make things happen because they’re going to get me. 

On horses that do anticipate and act on that anticipation, I can’t make a mistake or I can’t catch back up to the pattern. I want my horses trained, not patterned. I want them to go to a spot until I tell them it’s time for the next step. But I want to be able to do it fluid—and that much control is a balancing act. As long as I don’t mess up, it’s fluid. But if I do mess up, it doesn’t keep me from winning because my horse didn’t get ahead of me anywhere.

Lord knows none of us are perfect and, as we go through these ropings or futurities, wherever we’re at, we’re going to bobble. And the horses that impress me are those that, when you do make a bobble, they don’t make you pay for it. Those are the horses that, when you’re rodeoing on them and you can’t come home and practice, those are the ones that you can make a living on. TRJ

READ MORE: The Process of Developing Your Futurity Prospect
READ MORE: Roping’s Much-Needed Horsemanship Refocus
WATCH: Managing Your Young Horse’s Progress on Roping.com

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