Identifying the Problem: Confidence to the Calf
I notice this not only with my main horse, Simba, but also while seasoning young ones. As Simba will get tight at times which then can take my shot away, I need him staying true and aggressive until I have completed the run. While riding my greener horses, they need more assistance in finishing the run as they do not read the run as fast as they should. Recognizing that I approach jackpots and rodeos very differently on my younger horses, I am always searching to give them confidence within the run.
Fixing the Problem: Practice Pen Work
In the practice pen I started to throw fast on the freer horses, helping me stay sharp in my roping as well as it is helping them see the shot faster and giving them a better finish in their stop. While on Simba, I focus on riding him to my shot every time, allowing me stay forward and ready to take my shot as quick as possible. Even on Simba I still practice throwing fast but will kick him through his stop, then not letting him stop until I pitch my slack at the calf.
Results: Proof is in the Pudding
During the NFR I was fortunate enough to go home every day and practice on Simba, where I made sure he stayed free and underneath me while roping. Keeping my horses honest with me is very important, setting up for a better start in my run will also finish my run better and allow to me to be faster at the rodeos. BRJ