For my style, my strength is the most important part of my roping.
I have to be strong to pull my swing around and feel my tip no matter what. My core strength, upper body strength and leg strength is what allows me to do that. I try to put myself in the best situation to use my strength by using my horse consistently—allowing me to really leverage my strength in the process.
That helps because I try to leave the box and have my first swing up over the chute. People think of that in the team roping, but they don’t think of it in the breakaway.
I am going to try to shoot the tip out wide. The next swing, I can turn my thumb down no matter where the calf is. If he’s headed left, it’s easier. If not, and he steps right, I can turn my thumb down and get those angles. If I don’t, I have to go one more swing to make up for that. If I come up from the back of my saddle and come over the front of my body with my tip, I can do whatever I want with that second swing.
If you really think about how you rope, you rope with the end of the rope—the tip. So when I’m bringing that tip to the end of my hand, that gives me the momentum to get ahold of it. If I’m trying to bring my tip from down and back where I start the run straight to the front of the rotation,
it doesn’t matter how strong you are—man, woman or child—you have no power. But if that first swing can extend out wide and stay on the right side of your face, you’re ready to rope right away. BRJ
DON’T MISS: Kelsie Chace-Domer demonstrates her first swing, as well as other elements of her roping that make her great, on breakawayroping.com.