I’ve always been a believer in the fact that if you have enough slow cattle in your team roping practice, you don’t need to score as much because you’re not maxing your horse out every run. And by not maxing your horse out, you can work on more control and position.
On a head or heel horse, you can walk-start them with a scoring lane and wait until they’re a steer length or two into the lane before you ease out. If you’re on a more seasoned horse, you can see them out farther. I don’t want to feel late, but I want my horse to know that if I put him back behind a steer, I want him there on purpose.
[READ: Clay Smith Breaks Down a First-Steer Run in a Tough Field]
Down the Roping Pen with Slow Cattle
That doesn’t mean he needs to go faster to catch up. He needs to understand I’m putting him there because I want him to just idle through there, whether the cow will step to the left or whether I have a different read on the situation than usual.
[READ: No Heeler? No Problem. Clay Tryan Talks Solo Practice]
Into the Corner
It’s really hard to heel when you’re pulling. I want to be able to push to the steer. When we’re really hauling butt down through there, a horse can carry too much speed through the corner. I want my horse to know that I’m not going to put him in a bad spot. He’ll learn that the spot I put him in, he can catch up and get in good position so I can push him more toward the corner.