Square Shoulders, Level Loop with Paden Bray


This photo is from Charly Crawford’s Veterans Clinic in 2017, and I’m working with Iraq War Army Veteran Jon Kelly on his heel loop. When this image was taken, we were talking about our shoulder and arm position going down the arena and through the corner.

[Read: Behind the 2019 Resistol Rookie Heeler of the Year: Paden Bray]

[Read: Bray Adds $17,350 to Resistol Rookie Team Roping Earnings Over the Cowboy Christmas Run]

First Swing

From the time I leave the box, I want my shoulders square toward my target, the steer’s feet. That means I want my shoulders even the whole way across, not tipped to the left or right or forward or backward.

Here’s Why

I’m showing Jon that I don’t want my right shoulder too far back, because with it too far back I’d have to push my loop from back to front, and that would drive my tip into the ground. I have more power on my swing with my shoulders square, not leaning back. And if I start the run out that way from the time I leave the box, I don’t have to change my swing throughout the run or shift in my saddle.

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Level Up

If I have a flatter swing, it’s easier to come out of my swing into my delivery. If my swing is off to the left, I have to move my arm and my swing all the way around to deliver. That makes me slip legs, and I won’t get as much loop pushed through the feet.  

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