3 Lessons in Life and ProRodeo with 2021 Resistol Rookie Champion Madison Outhier

Madison Outhier shares her hardest lessons from her first two years of breakaway roping on the ProRodeo trail.

Madison Outhier breakaway roping
Madison Outhier ties for No. 1 in the first go round of the 2023 NFR Open. Robert Rosales/Natural Light Photography

Madison Outhier wrote her name in the breakaway history books when she earned the first WPRA Resistol Rookie of the Year in the breakaway roping in 2021—but that isn’t where her learning stopped.

The landscape of ProRodeo breakaway grew drastically in the year 2022, and Outhier not only applied the lessons she learned in the 2021 season, but learned some new tips along the way that helped her earn over $10,000 more in her 2022 season than she did in 2021.

“I don’t feel like a total veteran yet, but I definitely felt more confident this year.” 

Madison Outhier

Learn to Adapt

One of the most important things Outhier has learned during her time on the ProRodeo scene has to do with her technical roping ability. Outhier has been a standout youth competitor for many years, but even winning on stages like The American Rodeo didn’t prepare her for the unique roping setups she encountered.

“It’s different up north—the boxes are longer, wider; you might hit the barrier and not have a throw out of the box,” Outhier said. “Last year, I was trying to make 1.0-second runs everywhere and it just wasn’t working out for me because it’s just not the throw that you have. This year I adapted.”

She shared her advice to ropers aspiring to go out on the ProRodeo trail.

“Expose yourself to as many different situations as you can, because there aren’t two out there that are the same. Whatever jackpot, roping or rodeo you can go to, whether it’s close or far from your house, I just think the more exposure, the better. That way, you’re able to handle the situations better when you do get out there.”

Your Circle Matters

In 2022, Outhier traveled with one of the wolfiest—and most fun-loving—hauling groups in the game. She took off after the College Nationa Finals Rodeo in June with Taylor Hanchey, Tacy Webb and Beau Peterson. Not only was their TikTok content priceless, but all cowgirls in the rig finished inside the top 30, and Hanchey and Peterson are NFBR bound in November. Outhier noted that their success didn’t happen by accident.

“Those girls are so fun and uplifting,” Outheir said. “I wasn’t worried about doing bad or getting down myself because they would all be happy and light after each run, no matter what. That was a refreshing thing to have.” 

The quartet watched as other hauling groups and individuals struggled with their mental game all season long, but were grateful they kept the vibe light all year long.

Madison Outhier and her top breakaway roping hauling partners
Dream Team: Taylor Hanchey, Beau Peterson, Tacy Webb and Madison Outhier hauled together during the 2022 season. Image courtesy Madison Outhier.

“We saw the drama happening in other groups,” Outhier said. “It makes roping even harder when you don’t have the enjoyment of being around people you like that much while you’re out rodeoing. I mean, we were out there over three months, but it definitely didn’t feel like that long!”

Confidence is King

“Last year, I went through a hard streak where I wasn’t roping great and it took my confidence down a lot,” Outhier said. “This year, I was able to keep my confidence up in myself and my roping, even when I wasn’t roping or drawing great.” 

Her hauling group certainly helped her environment, but Outhier still had to learn how to trust in her roping when she wasn’t winning on the ProRodeo trail. Her rookie year was rife with emotional highs and lows as she learned the ropes and, although there were more rodeos to hit in 2022 with new setups and other obstacles to overcome, her mental preparation helped her power through the lows.

“It’s always one run away from you hitting that mark,” Outhier said. “I really saw that in Beau (Peterson) this year. She had a hard start to her summer and then turned it around in one week.”

Confidence isn’t just for the feel-good vibes, Outhier explained. Having high confidence is a good business decision when roping is your career.

“If you don’t have that confidence and your spirits up, who’s to say you’ll even be able to take that opportunity when you do get it,” Outhier explained. “You can’t let the veterans or anybody else intimidate you to where you feel like you can’t rope with them. In the breakaway, it’s anybody’s game, any day. It’s a fast-changing event and nobody is going to win every rodeo and every roping there is. It’s just so hard to be at the top every place you go, so that means everybody has a chance.” 

Mentally Preparing for Competition

What’s Next for Madison Outhier?

“Winning the Resistol Rookie of the Year last year, for me, is one of the biggest accomplishments I’ve ever had and ever will have. My dad won it in the saddle bronc riding in 1998, so my family think’s it’s super special as well.” 

Madison Outhier

Outhier isn’t done climbing her way through the breakaway roping ranks. She is excited to cheer on her hauling partners and will be in the stands cheering them on, but she’s also in a great position in the standings to hit the road hard again in 2023 and build on the knowledge that her sophomore seasoned added to her toolbox.

“I do feel like, after learning so much last year, that I roped a lot better this year,” she said. “I’m so thankful for where this sport has gone and taken me. It’s amazing to be on this upward rollercoaster with breakaway and the rodeo industry as a whole.”