Labor Day Weekend Cactus Contest

We haven’t had a contest in a really long time, but we are ready for one now.

If you choose the enter this contest, you are entering for a chance to win a Cactus Ropes’ cap autographed by none other than Trevor Brazile.  The contest will conclude midnight CST, on September 3, 2012.  We will draw for our winner on Tuesday, September 4.   Increase your chances for winning by taking advantage of all the ways to enter.

There are four ways to enter:

  1. Like “Cactus Ropes” on Facebook—worth 1 entry.
  2. Follow “Cactus Ropes” on Twitter—worth 5 entries.
  3. Tweet about this contest—worth 2 entries.
  4. Leave a comment on this blog telling us about your weekend plans—worth 2 entries.

We’ll pick a winner after the weekend!  Everyone have a safe holiday weekend and if you’re roping, good luck in the arena!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Cactus Ropes Announces Nitro Sweepstakes Winner

PLEASANTON, Texas—August 29, 2012— When Winn Cox tried out his friend’s Cactus Nitro rope, he had no idea it would result in the opportunity to rope for two days with Cesar de la Cruz.  “I liked that rope so much that I went out and bought some of my own.  One of those ropes happened to have a winning tail tag for the Nitro contest!”

The “Let’s Go Rope with Cesar” contest was created to thank customers who are using the new Nitro rope that Cactus developed in conjunction with Cesar de la Cruz.  Ropes with specially marked tail tags were distributed to retailers, and customers submitted the winning tags to enter a drawing for prizes.

The contest grand prize was the opportunity to rope with Cesar for two days at an upcoming filming and clinic session for Total Team Roping (  Winn Cox, an insurance agent in Seguin, Texas, will get to spend those days learning tips from de la Cruz and the other Total Team Roping members, including Clay O’Brien Cooper and Jake Barnes.  “I’m looking forward to roping with someone with a ‘younger style’ and getting some recommendations from Cesar on improving my technique and making things easier for my heelers,” states Cox. “After I bought my first Nitro, I haven’t used anything else.  I really appreciate that Cactus supports the people who use their products and rope on the weekends.”

Other contest prizes included boxes of Nitro ropes that were won by Isaac Hill of Waxahachie, TX and Garrett Stewart of West Jordan, UT.  For more information on the Nitro and other happenings at Cactus Ropes, please visit

More about Cactus Ropes

Cactus Ropes of Pleasanton, Texas, has been crafting ropes and products for competitive roping and ranch work for more than 20 years.  Visit to view products, locate a retailer or learn more about the world champion athletes who swing a Cactus Rope.


Practicing vs. Roping (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

I love to rope, and when I just rope, it’s a lot of fun. To me, that’s making three to six runs on a couple of horses. Flank and tie some, but not enough to get sore. Practicing is something totally different.

Practice needs to be strategically planned to be effective. You need to be smart enough to know what you need to practice on. Professional athletes focus on overcoming their weaknesses. If you’re not sure of your weaknesses, find someone knowledgeable that can help you pinpoint those areas.

Practice is not necessarily fun, but I’ve made myself love it. When I walk into my arena to practice, I visualize that I’m punching a time clock. To feel like I’ve really practiced, I want to wear out a couple of ropes and a pigging string. I have calluses on my hands from tying and if I practice to my standards, I’ll be sore for a few days.

To practice like that, it takes a lot of horses and calves. Don’t go run twenty or thirty head of calves on your horse. That’s not practice and you’ll trash your horse.

If you have trouble catching, get a breakaway and learn to catch like that. You can do a lot of groundwork without a horse, though it does take a lot of calves. Making runs is fun, but look at like running a business. Keep your strengths sharp, but focus on your weaknesses and work at that. Be strategic and have a thought out plan for your practice.

Congratulations to Cory Solomon for winning Calgary and $100,000. He’s a great young man who ropes well and has a bright future ahead of him.

Until next time, God bless, and I’ll see you down the line. If there’s something you would like me to write about, please send me an email at


Cactus Ropes Unveils New Website

Cactus Ropes is pleased to announce a brand new website at The site features updated graphics, content and shopping options.

“The new site looks fantastic, but more importantly, it has improved tools and benefits for our fans and customers,” states Jan Johnson, Director of Marketing. “We have incorporated great features like videos on each rope page, an improved dealer locator, and a forthcoming new option that allows instant ropes purchases from our retailers directly through our website portal.”

The new website will serve as a hub for breaking news, educational newsletters and the regular contests offered through the Cactus Ropes social media networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

More about Cactus Ropes

Cactus Ropes of Pleasanton, Texas, has been crafting ropes and products for competitive roping and ranch work for more than 20 years.  Visit to view products, locate a retailer or learn more about the world champion athletes who swing a Cactus Rope.


Cactus Ropes Introduces the Nitro

PLEASANTON, Texas—April 2, 2012— Cactus Ropes has launched a new rope in conjunction with endorsee Cesar de la Cruz.  The neon green Nitro is available as both a head rope and a heel rope.

Nitro | Cesar de la Cruz | Cactus Ropes: The Official Rope of the PRCA

Nitro | Cesar de la Cruz | Cactus Ropes: The Official Rope of the PRCA

“If I were to sum up this rope, I would say it offers heavy-bodied performance in a small, fast package,” states Barry Berg of Cactus Ropes.  Featuring four blended strands, the Nitro offers increased tip weight for swing and timing, as well as maximum body for accuracy.

Cesar de la Cruz states, “It’s fast and balanced with the action of a rope that’s smaller in diameter, but it has enough body to hold its shape and give me great tip control when I place my loop.”  Regarding the rope’s neon green color, de la Cruz explains, “I’m a big visual guy.  I like to see the steer jump into my loop.  The Nitro practically glows in the dark, so it’s great in all lighting conditions.”

When he joined the Cactus team earlier in 2012, de la Cruz wanted a specific rope to meet his needs.  He began work with Barry Berg to develop and test ropes that matched his vision.  “One of the things I wanted was durability.  I like a rope that will last an entire roping, and more,” states de la Cruz. “Nitro is tough.  It can take more runs because it holds the horn so well.”

Nitro’s performance is already being seen in the team roping arena.  Jake Long was swinging its distinctive green loop when he recently won the YMBL Championship Rodeo in Beaumont, Texas.  The Nitro is now available at your favorite roping retailer.  Additional information can also be found at

More about Cactus Ropes

Cactus Ropes of Pleasanton, Texas, has been crafting ropes and products for competitive roping and ranch work for more than 20 years.  Visit to view products, locate a retailer or learn more about the world champion athletes who swing a Cactus Rope.


Cesar de la Cruz Joins Cactus Ropes

PLEASANTON, Texas—Feb. 22, 2012— Cesar de la Cruz has joined the roster of professional cowboys representing Cactus Ropes, stating “I’m honored to be part of this group, and I’m looking forward to working with the Cactus team on some exciting projects this year.”

Highlights from de la Cruz’s 2011 professional season include wins at the Justin Boots Championships, Pendleton Round-Up, Omak Stampede, Rodeo Austin, Laughlin River Stampede and the Missoula Stampede.  He topped off the competitive season with his sixth qualification at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

“Cesar is an awesome addition to our team,” states Barry Berg of Cactus Ropes.  “He’s a great roper and an innovative thinker.   It’s been very refreshing to share ideas with him about ropes that will help our customers perform at higher levels.”

A heeler from Marana, Arizona, de la Cruz is a third generation NFR qualifier, following in the footsteps of his team roping grandfather, Vic Aros.  Cesar is married to Arena de la Cruz, who was the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Women’s All-Around Champion in 2008.  Their son Camilo is two years old.

Cesar de la Cruz, Cactus Ropes: The Official Ropes of the PRCA

Cesar de la Cruz, Cactus Ropes: The Official Ropes of the PRCA: Photo Credit: Lone Wolf Photos

More about Cactus Ropes

Cactus Ropes of Pleasanton, Texas, has been crafting ropes and products for competitive roping and ranch work for more than 20 years.  Visit to view products, locate a retailer or learn more about the world champion athletes who swing a Cactus Rope.


The Science of Cool

If you are a roper, did you know you can have an influence on what tomorrow’s ropes will look like? Designers must anticipate trends, so that a new rope with the latest features will hit stores just when you need it. That’s the science of cool.

Take Cactus Ropes, for example. The Pleasanton, Texas, manufacturer has stayed competitive by keeping ahead of the curve. Production Manager Barry Berg offered a quick glimpse into the process of discovering and creating the next big thing.

Blueprint for Greatness

Rope-making has changed considerably since Cactus Ropes opened its doors more than twenty years ago. According to Berg, it is still evolving, and his team is always on the hunt for fresh ideas.

Cactus Ropes:  The Official Rope of the PRCA | Team Ropes

Cactus Ropes: The Official Rope of the PRCA | Team Ropes

“At Cactus Ropes, we say that great performances begin with great ropes,” he said. “We rely on the talents of experienced rope makers and input from ropers of all levels.”

One of those is the PRCA’s only $4 million cowboy, Trevor Brazile, who helped design this year’s Freedom rope. The Freedom is the first three-strand in Brazile’s Relentless™ collection, which is made by Cactus Ropes.

“After field-testing many products through the years, I realized the best way to get products to meet my needs was to collaborate in their design,” said Brazile, who is involved in developing the prototype for every Relentless product.

In addition, Berg said that sometimes the best inspirations come from average ropers.

“At the end of the day, our goal is to increase the catching percentage of any roper,” he said. “We want to create the perfect rope for every style, at any level.”

Regardless of how an idea reaches Cactus Ropes, the ones that make it to stores go through the same process.

Cactus Ropes:  The Official Rope of the PRCA | Team Ropes | Shock-N-Awe

Cactus Ropes: The Official Rope of the PRCA | Team Ropes | Shock-N-Awe

The first step is to take an idea and design a rope that meets the need. Then, the team builds the first prototype, experimenting and adjusting the formula until it meets precise specifications. Afterwards, staff test ropers put the rope through its paces at their arenas. Passing that, samples are shipped to endorsees for real-world trials.

“When we have a rope style that we think is ready, we have certain professional ropers on call that we’ll send samples to,” said Berg. “We also give them specific instructions on how to break those ropes in. We tell them to catch five steers per rope the first day. Then, we have them let the ropes rest until the next day, and then see how they feel. After that, they can run as many head as they want. But, that first 24 hours is very important.”

While in the test phase, if a rope line doesn’t meet standards, it will be reevaluated. The design may be tweaked and retested, or completely scrapped.

The final assessment, actual sales, is the most important one. It doesn’t matter how well it tested if it no one is using it. That’s the unseen factor manufacturers are searching to find.

Got a great idea?

Help Cactus Ropes find the next cool rope design. Send them your suggestions at or


Cactus Saddlery, Cactus Ropes, Pro Equine Products and Heel-O-Matic introduce new PRCA Branded Collection

Deerfield, Ill.—November 1, 2011—Cactus Saddlery, Cactus Ropes, Pro Equine Products and Heel-O-Matic Training Systems recently announced the debut of their PRCA Branded Collection. The line was developed in conjunction with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and will feature select products that carry the famed organization’s logo.

The companies, which are subsidiaries of the Pro Equine Group, are the designated makers of the Official Saddle, Rope, Equine Sports Product and Roping Training Device of the PRCA.

“We are fully committed to our partnership with PRCA and are proud to incorporate their logo into a select group of products, including equine apparel, practice devices, rope accessories and tack,” states Rebecca Thomas, Senior Marketing Director of the Pro Equine Group. “This line provides a unique opportunity for authorized retailers to share the partnership and gives rodeo enthusiasts another way to connect to this iconic association.”

The PRCA Branded Collection will be available for purchase at select retailers in early 2012.

More about Cactus Ropes, Cactus Saddlery and Pro Equine Products

Cactus Ropes of Pleasanton, Texas, has been crafting ropes and products for competitive roping and ranch work for more than 20 years.  Visit to view products, locate a retailer or learn more about the world champion athletes who swing a Cactus Rope.

Cactus Saddlery is a premier manufacturer of Western saddles, strap goods and saddle pads. Each quality leather good is hand-crafted by skilled artisans at their Greenville, Texas, location, guided with the expertise of professional rodeo athletes. Visit to preview its entire lineup of merchandise, design a custom saddle or locate a retailer.

Pro Equine Products, also of Pleasanton, Texas, is a top manufacturer of protective horse boots and apparel, all of which are designed and tested by champions in a variety of disciplines. Visit to learn more about the company’s line, watch informational videos, meet the Pro Team members or sign up for promotions and newsletters.

In 2012, Cactus Ropes, Cactus Saddlery and Pro Equine Products will merge to form Cactus Group. Part of the Pro Equine Group family of brands, Cactus Group promises to continue to deliver top-quality products that promote the Western lifestyle.

More about Heel-O-Matic

Heel-O-Matic of Longmont, Colo., is the leading manufacturer of team roping training aids. Heel-O-Matic products are designed to provide perfect practice for every level of team roping competitor and horse trainer, from youth to professional. Not only will a Heel-O-Matic machine help improve a roper’s abilities, but targeted drills on the most life-like machine on the market will also help a roper’s horse.   Heel-O-Matic is the only roping machine with the “Heel-O-Matic Hop,” a patented hopping motion that replicates the actual movements of live cattle in tow.  These machines reproduce unlimited run patterns in any location, providing targeted practice to fit any schedule. For more information, visit


Letting Kids be Kids (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

Father’s Day has me reflecting and reinforces my belief that being a good father is the greatest responsibility of my life. The most important job I will ever have is to instill good values in my children that will help them be happy and caring adults.

Baseball season just wound down last week for my boys. I’m a coach for Stone’s team, along with a friend of mine. These are eight-year-olds playing machine pitch baseball. I wasn’t there, but heard about the play-offs where mothers on opposing teams came up with different scores. The dads got involved and it almost came to a brawl, completely out of hand and unnecessary. This wasn’t even for the championship, just to see who would play our team. Ultimately, the champions would each get a trophy that cost no more than $3.50.  As ludicrous as this sounds, Junior Rodeo is underway and I can only imagine the potential for problems with buckles and saddles at stake.

These kids are seven- and eight-years-old and should be having a good time. I don’t think I’m raising a professional machine pitch baseball player. As coaches, we try and keep it fun for the kids and it’s disheartening to see parents act like this. It really makes you feel sorry for the kids because they have to be under pressure to win and that’s just inappropriate at that age. There will be plenty of time later for them to experience pressure in life.

We have to do the best we can with our kids. My job is to make it fun and let them enjoy themselves and play to the level they are. If they’re seven, let them be seven.  I see a lot of parents push their kids like it’s life or death. This is a kid that’s not even 10-years-old and they are putting the pressure of a 40-year-old on them. It hurts my heart to see kids go through this, playing a game.

At five- and seven-years-old, my boys really aren’t that interested in roping and that’s okay. I can’t put my desire to win in my boys but can let them see my work ethic, without imposing it on them. My philosophy is that some is taught, but most is caught.

When you start expecting too much from your kids, most of the time you’re asking your kid to do something you couldn’t do yourself. When you put undue pressure on a kid to perform like a professional athlete, do you think it’s a reflection of something you may have been lacking in? Oftentimes, the parents who push their kids hard are those who underachieved or under accomplished.

Most people who have accomplished their goals are pretty content with letting their kid be a kid. Those are the kids who are usually the most successful, though not always at an early age. When you push a kid too young and they’re doing it for you, they’ll be burned out and resentful of you and the sport. I’ve never seen a positive outcome from pushing your kids to compete like professional athletes.

Let your kids know you love them. Don’t rob them of confidence by expecting too much of them. Childhood should be happy and not a challenge.

Till next time, God Bless and I’ll see you down the line.


First $4 Million Cowboy Adds New Rope to Arsenal

PLEASANTON, TEXAS—Trevor Brazile, the only $4 million athlete in Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) history, and Barry Berg, of Cactus Ropes, have developed a new team rope together—the Freedom 3-strand. The Freedom will be officially launched on July 4.

“The first time I used it, I placed at the Mike Cervi Memorial Roping during Tucson,” said Brazile.

Freedom is a three-strand, nylon poly blend with a small diameter, making it suitable for every level of team roper. It is available in both a head rope (small diameter) and heel rope (medium diameter) and each is offered in Cactus Ropes’ four standard lays.

Freedom is the first three-strand rope in Brazile’s Relentless™ collection. It follows the Xplosion and C4 team ropes, Weapon calf rope and Li’l Pistol youth rope.

“I really wanted my line to have a three-strand rope,” states Brazile. “The pure swing and feel is popular with world-champion-caliber ropers, but at the same time, it’s adaptable enough to be a perfect rope for all levels of ropers.”

In addition to ropes, Brazile’s Relentless collection includes products manufactured by Cactus Ropes’ affiliates: saddles, strap goods and pads from Cactus Saddlery and protective leg gear and blankets from Pro Equine Products.

Join the excitement on Facebook as Cactus Ropes gives away two Freedom ropes each week during June. A unique Trevor Brazile Grand Prize will be awarded on July 4th. Watch the Cactus Ropes Facebook page and for more details.

More about Cactus Ropes
Cactus Ropes of Pleasanton, Texas, produces top-quality ropes used by amateur and professional ropers around the world, whether in rodeo competition, in roping arenas, with practice dummies or on the ranch. These ropes are endorsed by the top PRCA athletes participating in national rodeo events and enjoyed by all who use them, young and old alike.

The Cactus Ropes brand signifies quality roping products that combine traditional rope-making artistry with exclusive innovations that deliver consistency, feel and swingability. All of their products are chosen and scrutinized for quality to provide consumers with only the best ropes, clothing, tack and accessories. With a full line of ropes, including team ropes, calf ropes, ranch ropes and kid ropes, Cactus Ropes has something to offer anyone who enjoys throwing a loop.