Ok breakaway ropers—we’re two years into rodeoing, and now we know a little more about what staying on the road takes. I jotted down my New Year’s resolution for 2022, and I’d guess that I’m not the only one who needs to make her mind up to make sure she’s got her ducks in a row on these four details:
1. Don’t miss the books. That is literally the number-one thing on the priority list this year. Start planning NOW. Get yourself a network of girls who will hold each other accountable, and make sure your friend group has a text going that reminds you when books are opening and books are closing. Some of the top breakaway ropers in the world are already missing the best rodeos all winter because this is so new to us. We have no idea when this stuff is springing up because the amateur rodeos just had one day a week when books opened and closed. That was easy to remember. The PROCOM system is not the same.
2. Get your horse lineup figured out. Before the summer, you have to have your horses ready that you can go win on. After last year, a lot of girls realized it’s hard to have one horse. You have to be getting with them now. You absolutely don’t want to be scrambling in the spring when so many of the best girls in the world are already two or three good-ones deep in their lineup that they know how to win on.
3. Find your buddy rig. It’s too expensive for most people to travel by themselves. That’s just the long and short of it. But we’re figuring out that dynamic is not easy. Concentrate on what will make a good hauling partner. Try to surround yourself with the people that will keep you on your best game day in and day out, week after week. Your tribe matters. You have got to do some self-reflection, too, and make sure you’re being everything someone else will need so you can count on someone to do the same for you.
4. Physical prep. For me, I want to try to get in the best shape possible before the summer run, because once all that hits and you’re living on the road, it’s a lot harder to do that. I want to get in as good of physical shape as possible so I can ride that out for the summer.