A couple times a year, I catch myself trying to go too fast. When that happens—like it did at the beginning of the 2020 summer run for me—I need to go back to my basics and fix my swing and my riding. I can get carried away trying to be fast instead of roping sharp.

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From the Start

When I’m trying to go too fast, I leave the box and I don’t ride my horse. I lean out over my horse and, the more I lean, the less I use my legs. But, if I concentrate on kicking my horse and using my legs as much as I am using my upper body, everything works together to make the run sharper and smoother.

Shoulder Position

I work on pulling my shoulder back a little more to help open my swing up. If I get to being too fast, everything gets tight and in front of me too much. I’m trying to get the steer roped before I’m ready. My swing will get tight, and I won’t have much power and much coverage of the horns, and the wheels will fall off the wagon. I’ve got to keep my body square in the saddle and my shoulder back to keep my swing covering the horns.

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Tip Control

When I’m leaning and not riding my horse, my tip gets down below the steer’s horns or pointing toward his back, and then I have to change my delivery to catch him. If I put my tip above the right horn, I can come straight out of my swing with power on my loop.

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