JJ Hampton on taking accountability for yourself and your roping.

JJ Hampton discusses what you might be doing wrong to cause your horse to cheat, how to avoid it, and how you can take responsibility for yourself and your roping:


So many people will make a mistake and instantly blame their horse. I know if I don’t take my time, pull myself up and swing out of the box, I’m behind. In our minds we know we’re behind, so we make a movement and our horses check off. People say, ‘Your horse got you.’ No, I got me. And I know that.


It’s hard to take blame, but you’ve got to. You’re the one who moved and told your horse what to do. They feed off of us. If your horse sets up, you’ve moved, you’ve changed your rope speed, you’ve done something to tell your horse you’re fixing to rope.

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So you should pet them, and then go whip your own self because you showed them what you’re doing. Don’t be mad at your horse because you did it. With my horse now, I have to look in the mirror and know that I’ve got to stay still, and not move.


I’m a breakaway roper, not a horse trainer, and I rope at the mouth of the box all the time. But my horses aren’t tight because I do my job. I can rope 10 in a row, and they won’t be tight. The key is that, when I leave the corner, I’m where I need to be to throw. My horses aren’t feeling me move to confuse them. BRJ

ONLINE NOW: JJ Hampton’s series on breakawayroping.com launches this month. You’ve never heard a more no-nonsense approach to winning than what JJ’s got to say—and we wouldn’t expect anything less from this legend.