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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