Cattle are cattle, and some just don’t want to get along no matter what a producer puts into ensuring that he’s got good ones. So, it’s my job as a heeler to stay in a good spot, watch the run develop, and stay committed to my swing.
Position is key to roping tough cattle. I’ve got to stay in a good spot. What I mean by a good spot is that I don’t want to get too close—if you’re too close, it’s hard to use the right parts of your loop.
If a steer hits weird, I don’t want to take the bait. I want to keep my loop and swing speed consistent no matter what the steer does. I’m not trying to get in time through the corner if he hits weird. I’m just keeping it on there until I see something I like.
I’d like to say I’m waiting until I see the steer open up. Some will, but others will hit trotting—for me, I like to see some sort of rhythm or control, whether the steer is open or not. I’m waiting to commit until I’d like to see some form of consistency or control in their movement. If a steer hits bad, your header should regain control of his head and that will give the consistency to the back end.
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I am working on getting my tip through the feet. I’m really wanting to make sure I’m patient in my delivery. That ties into not taking the bait and changing your swing like I mentioned earlier. My reaction will be to speed up my delivery to race the feet, but if I can stay in a good spot and keep the power on my loop, my swing will stay ahead of the feet. I don’t want to get behind, because then my tip gets behind. If I take the bait when they hit weird and slow my swing down, it’s hard for me to not put extra back on my delivery. Then my tip is behind and I’m in trouble. If I can keep the power on my swing, it still lets my tip get ahead of my hand and my delivery. TRJ