Here's the Secret: If I'm doing my job, my horses will never know I'm throwing my rope.
Now there are girls who beat me some of the time, but they don't beat me all the time. There's no one faster who holds the saddle horn, I know that. I've got throwing in two swings down pat, and I'm used to doing it. I don't change my game, and I don't change my riding—so my horses don't know any different.
Body Position in the Corner
When I back into the box, my legs need to be a little back under my hips. I want to be a little forward, with my feet behind me. I am up to the front and ready to rope. Some girls start with their back straight, but I stay more forward and leaned over. My horse will stand me up with his momentum from there, and then I'm ready to rope.If you're flat on your butt and your back is straight, you have to bend to get ready to go. When I take off, I'm already there.
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Holding the Saddle Horn
I've been holding the saddle horn in the box my whole life. I don't hold it that long, but I hold it long enough to give myself a little tug to be forward. I'd been practicing holding my arm up recently trying to get better, because there are places I can always improve and I want to improve on what I do. But I realized my horses were checking off because I'm moving in the saddle. So I realized that I need to do what works for me.
While others get their speed and momentum from cocking their ropes, I get mind from my horse leaving the box. I get one swing off at the mouth of the box with the first stride of my horse, so I'm not holding onto that horn very long. I pull on the horn, my arm goes back and then I rope. Some people get their rope up better with it cocked, but I get the blow out of my horse with my hand on the horn. I like to reach, so I use my horse to help me do that. Leaving the corner with my hand on the horn lets me be in sync with my horse, so I'm ready to kick once and be ready to rope.
Roping to Win
When I rope, maybe it's not perfect. I learned how to use my rope to win a long time ago, and that's what I'm good at. I don't like to pick apart people's swings or their riding—I like to tweak what I can to help people win. BRJ