Eyes on the Prize
Reading your calf starts when you're backed in the box by focusing on your target. Once you nod, you get ahead of your horse and you find the calf out in front of you. I never lose focus.
I look at my calf with the top half of my body forward and my chin tilted down so that I'm looking through the center of my eyes. This way, you never look around your horse and you never lose sight of the target.
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Once you find the calf out in front, you must start gauging your distance; both behind and left to right. I do this by watching the calf come to me. I like to explain this like driving a car toward a stop sign. We see the sign ahead of us and we are able to judge our speed until we come to a stop. We don't see the sign and speed up or slam on the breaks. Your horse should be behind the calf and going the same speed the whole run. If the calf moves any direction, speeds up or slows down, you should still be in the same position, which allows you to rope in a high percentage area. BRJ