Keeping a rope in your hand as much as possible will help elevate your craft, says three-time gold buckle winner Clay Tryan

Ready for Anything

The most important thing about roping is how you handle your rope. How you swing it and how you control it makes the difference between being able to make a tough shot on a tricky steer and hitting the steer in the back of the head. Guys who get really good all have that in common. 

Your Best Friend

How you handle your rope is an acquired taste. Your rope has to be your best friend. Rope the dummy a lot. Swing your rope a lot. Learn what it takes for you to control your top strand, your bottom strand and your tip. This will build consistency in your swing—know where you like your arm, how you want your coils and how fast your rope speed needs to be. 

All Day, Every Day

My kids already handle a rope well because they rope the Smarty, they rope the donkeys, they rope the Shorty, and they rope the Cowboy Toy when they’re in the house. They match everyone they can, even in the parking lots at rodeos with the best in the world. I don’t coach them through every swing—I let them have fun and get comfortable with their rope handling, and the rest will come. 

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