Name this place!

Name this Place~Revealed!! | Cactus Ropes, Inc.

Name this Place~Revealed!! | Cactus Ropes, Inc.

10/11/2012-UPDATED WITH REVEAL! Yes, the Cactus Crew was at the famous Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas just outside of Dallas where the TV series Dallas was filmed. We did a little snooping around the barns and stalls and guess what we found! The Ewings use Cactus Ropes!! We found Habaneros, Xplosions, Hypnotics, Whistlers and Bad Boys! Let’s go rope.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in this contest! A winner has been notified and has 24 hours to claim their prize!
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Name this Place | Cactus Ropes, Inc.

Name this Place | Cactus Ropes, Inc.

Today, we’re having a contest for an adult extra-large t-shirt that is autographed by Ty Blasingame.

Some members of the Cactus Crew recently took a trip and you’ll never guess what we found there!  Correctly name the place this picture was taken and be entered in the random drawing on October 11, 2012.  One lucky winner will be chosen!

If you choose the enter this contest, you are entering for a chance to win a Cactus Ropes t-shirt that has been autographed by Ty Blasingame.  The contest will conclude midnight CST, on October 10, 2012. We will draw for the winner on Thursday, October 11th.

There is only one way to enter this contest:

Leave a comment on this blog correctly identifying the place the picture above was taken—worth 1 entry.

We’ll pick a winner on Thursday! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Win a Cactus Ropes T-Shirt (Autographed by Britt Williams)

Today, we’re having a contest for an adult large t-shirt that is autographed by Britt Williams.

If you choose the enter this contest, you are entering for a chance to win a Cactus Ropes t-shirt that has been autographed by Britt Williams.  The contest will conclude midnight CST, on October 6, 2012. We will draw for the winner on Monday, October 8th.  Increase your chances for winning by taking advantage of all the ways to enter.

There are four ways to enter:

Like “Cactus Ropes” on Facebook—worth 2 entries.
Leave a comment on this blog telling us what you did over the past weekend—worth 2 entries.
Follow “Cactus Ropes” on Twitter—worth 5 entries.
Tweet about this contest—worth 5 entries.

We’ll pick a winner on Monday! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Athletic Position (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

Last month, we talked about horse position when roping. This month, I want to touch on something that is mostly overlooked in our sport and that’s athletic position.   Athletic position is having your weight distributed over the balls of your feet, knees slightly bent, back straight and head up. In any athletic sport where you have to move fast, this is the position you start from. College and professional athletes all know this.

If while you were walking down the sidewalk and a car suddenly veered towards you, you would naturally “break down” into this position to move quickly. In our sport there are lots of guys who are naturally athletic, and then there are lots who are not. In a sport where every hundredth of a second counts, it’s important to maximize your chances.

In the gym, I work out on a Bosu ball that looks like half a ball. You can stand on either side and it’s wonderful for gaining balance. I work on my arms, shoulders and squats all on the Bosu for the purpose of agility and balance.

So many people don’t realize the importance of athleticism when roping calves. From the time you get off your horse and until you throw your hands up, you need your weight distributed over the balls of your feet and to be in an athletic position. We quickly dismount and run as fast as possible on uneven ground. There’s a lot of potential for injury if you’re not physically prepared for it.

The best athletes in the world, professional football and basketball players, routinely work on foot drills and other exercises for balance and coordination to increase their performance by even a mere two or three percent. If it could increase your performance as much as forty percent, would you not do this?

Guys who are naturally athletic may not have to work at it. But I believe anyone can improve their performance if they do. You can find these exercises on the internet. Footwork is very under estimated and overlooked in our sport. If your footwork is right, your position will be right. You will make far less mistakes and your consistency will shoot through the roof. Next month, we’ll talk about position and the dismount.

This year, I’ve been invited to give a motivational speech at the NRS trade show at the MGM each morning at 9:30 a.m. I invite you all to come if you are going to be in Las Vegas during the finals. I would love for you all to send me some topics you would like me to talk about. Please email them to me at strant@aol.com.

Our STS Ranch Wear will debut during the NFR and we’re very excited. The feedback has been very positive and overwhelming. I absolutely love the products. STS will have a booth at the NRS trade show at the MGM. You will also be able to find STS Ranch Wear at Archundi & Company at the Convention Center.

I’m working on a plan for my 2013 articles and need some ideas. Please email me at strant@aol.com with ideas and topics you would like to read about. Until next time, God Bless, and I’ll see you down the line.

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Not one, not two, but THREE Autograph Cards

Today, we’re having a contest for THREE signed autograph cards.

If you choose the enter this contest, you are entering for a chance to win three Cactus Ropes’ signed autographed cards:  Spencer Mitchell, Jake Long and Clay O’Brien Cooper.  The contest will conclude midnight CST, on September 18, 2012. We will draw for THREE winners on Wednesday, September 19. Each winner will win all three autograph cards. Increase your chances for winning by taking advantage of all the ways to enter.

There are four ways to enter:

Like “Cactus Ropes” on Facebook—worth 2 entries.
Leave a comment on this blog telling us what you did over the past weekend—worth 2 entries.
Follow “Cactus Ropes” on Twitter—worth 5 entries.
Tweet about this contest—worth 5 entries.

We’ll pick a winner on Wednesday! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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It’s All About Position (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

There are very few places or times where “position” is not a major factor. This is true on many levels in everything from your position in life, your spiritual position, and in roping calves.

Today we’re talking about roping position. I’ll always take a guy that may not be as fast or have as much ability with good position over a guy that’s blistering fast with bad position. Most of the mistakes made when roping are due to being out of position.

There are several common positions for throwing your rope when calf roping. As when driving, where a steering wheel has a 10:00 and 2:00, I’ll use the same references for the position of the calf when roping. Most ropers will usually throw when the calf is in one of these positions: 1) 11:00, 2) 12:00, 3) 1:00.

Often this will be determined by a roper’s size and strength. Personally, my preferred position is 11:00. For a younger or smaller roper, who may not be tall enough to see over their horses’ head, they will be more comfortable with a 1:00 position. Many things can dictate your position, your left hand, your elbow, your wrist, or how you hold your rope.

If you’re not sure of your optimum position, work at catching the dummy from 10:30 to 2:00 positions. Adjust your swing and the plane of your rope in order to catch it from all positions. From there, figure out which position best fits your style and swing, and gives you the highest percentage for catching.

Once you find the position that makes you most consistent, ride to that position every time. For your catching percentage to go up, you need to be in the same position every time.

All aspects of calf roping relate to position. Next month we’ll talk about positioning yourself to get off and positioning yourself when tying.

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

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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

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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 (www.totalteamroping.com).  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 www.cactusropes.com.

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 cactusropes.com to view products, locate a retailer or learn more about the world champion athletes who swing a Cactus Rope.

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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 strant@aol.com.

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Cactus Ropes Unveils New Website

Cactus Ropes is pleased to announce a brand new website at www.cactusropes.com. 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 cactusropes.com to view products, locate a retailer or learn more about the world champion athletes who swing a Cactus Rope.

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Eat to Live (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

A few months ago when I asked my Facebook fans for article ideas; I was overwhelmed with the requests for nutrition and fitness tips.  If you are anything like me, I like to formulate a plan before I go into something.   I want to get the full benefit from my training.  I think it is very important that everyone in a family buys into the system as a team.  That being said, I have two little boys: six and eight, and a baby girl.  I don’t think it would be fair to expect the same from them as I do myself.  What I try to do with them, as in other areas of their lives, is to encourage them to make wise choices.  Just as they are learning to read and write in school, they also need to learn to live healthy lifestyles.

So many people ask me what foods I eat to stay healthy.  I try to keep it as simple as possible.

  1. No White Starches
  2. No Sugar
  3. No Fried Foods
  4. No Dairy

Now that being said, when I am on the road and traveling all over United States and Canada, I have found that there are 3 keys to this…

1)     Being prepared.

We always try to have food packed and even prepared ahead of time, so we are never stuck without options.

2)     Make the best choice available.

Oftentimes, when I fly somewhere, I pack some food and protein.  But you can always find something to eat, even at McDonald’s.  If all else fails, go bunless.  You may just have to pay a little more to fill up.

3)     Never let yourself get too hungry.

It is better to eat something that is not the best choice than to not eat at all.  I have learned this the hard way.  You must have fuel to compete and be at the top of your game.  I try to eat anywhere from four to six meals a day.  You can ruin your metabolism by skipping meals.  Most people choose to skip meals when they are trying to lose weight.  Your body is forced to eat up muscle first and store fat in a survival instinct, defeating the purpose.

Have you noticed that I have not used the word “diet” at all in this entry?   That is because the first three letters in the word “diet” spell “die.”   That is exactly opposite what we are trying to do and that is to live to our full potential.  We must eat to live, not live to eat.

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