I was at a friend’s house practicing on a young heel horse when my curb-strap broke on my bridle. I figured I’d ride her without a chin strap to see how she did.
On the very first steer, I ran down the arena and, when the steer turned, she just cut to the inside when I tried to pull on her.
On the next steer, when she did that, I lifted her up and I put my feet into her to hold her out and control her body. In that situation, she shaped up perfectly because I was really focused on riding with my feet to counter the fact that I was riding her with what amounted to no bridle.
We probably roped five steers, and the first one was the only one that I t-boned. I see so many videos of ropers going down the arena and the horse goes to cut in. When the horse cuts in, I see the roper pick up on the bridle reins and tip the horse’s nose to the right, which is exactly the opposite of what we want: we’re trying to hold them out.
If you feel your horse getting strong, pick him up with the bridle reins and put your leg into him to move him out, just tipping his nose in and shaping the corner up.
Remember: Your feet are the main tool for lateral movement on the horse.