Please Don’t Get Bucked Off
Evaluating a green, fresh horse with JR Dees.

Understanding Where You’re Starting

When I get on a fresh horse, I like to walk in small circles first so if they’re going to do something, I have control of it without fully giving them their head in a wide open setup. A lot of people get on and kick one into a lope on a loose rein, but pretty soon that horse is bucking and they’ve lost control.

[WATCH & LEARN: Free JR Dees Playlist on]

Finding the Feel

I like to analyze the feel the horse has and see how he’s going to respond to the bridle reins, my leg and my seat. Too often, people will lope a few circles and back into the corner and rope, and that doesn’t set you up for a good practice.

Getting His Mind Right

I’d rather get on, do my smaller circles, then trot and lope each direction and flex the horse each direction so I know how much control I’m going to have. This gives them time to think about what they’re doing. Getting one thinking through your cues and through their job sets them up for more success out of the box because their brains are ready to listen to what you’re asking of them. It’s hard for a young horse to learn without being able to think, so instilling the basics throughout your warmup will prepare them for success. If they’re using their bodies right—flexing and moving correctly and clearly understanding your cues—then they’ll learn more quickly, enjoy their jobs more and last longer. TRJ

Related Articles
Jake Smith and Douglas Rich roping a steer in the shirt round of the 2024 Red Bluff Round-Up.
spring time
Who’s Winning Where at the ProRodeos This Week?
_Shay Carroll Jace Helton - T16_0620 copy
welcome to west texas
Shay Carroll and Jace Helton Win 2024 San Angelo Rodeo Team Roping: Results and More
Joseph Harrison heeling on One Time Blues at the Gold Buckle Futurity.
Next Level
Finding Frame
Joseph Harrison heeling steer BFI
Joseph Harrison's Futurity Horse is Doing Double-Time at the Biggest Open Jackpots in the Game.
Tanner Tomlinson turning a steer for Junior Nogueira to win the 2023 Cinch USTRC NFTR Open.
watch the battle
Cinch USTRC National Finals of Team Roping Streaming LIVE on