Most of the time when ropers are shopping for a new horse, they try to buy the best horse their money can buy. My philosophy is a little different because I have a specific style of riding and roping, and will do my best to find a horse that fits my style. I would rather have a horse that’s not quite as good if he fits me better. It’s not about who’s riding the best horse – it’s about who can win the most riding their horse.
If you own three horses and they’re all different, you will constantly have to shift gears and change what you’re doing and that’s disruptive. I prefer horses that are quick and short strided and if all my horses are similar I can maintain a better rhythm. I also have to be smart enough to recognize that type of horse.
It’s important to realize that every horse won’t fit in the same cookie cutter mold. I see a lot of mistakes made by people trying to use the same training and practice methods on every horse they ride. What’s good for one horse is not necessarily good for the other. Though I have a philosophy on riding and training, I realize I will have to tweak that philosophy for each horse. All horses are unique individuals and to enjoy success with a horse you will have to get to know him and find what works best for him.
Horsemanship is key and most cowboys today don’t have a fraction of the horsemanship as the “old time” cowboys. The old timers who roped forgot more than today’s rodeo cowboys will ever know. They were real cowboys because they rode more than they drove and spent almost as many hours in the saddle as not.
It wasn’t unusual for them to ride for ten or more hours before they roped. Not only were they smart about their horses, but their horses were experienced, ridden down and ready to work. Now days we keep our horse in a stall, feed them high power feed and supplements and then expect to knock the edge off after fifteen minutes of loping circles.
I realize it’s not 1940 and most people want to rope and enjoy themselves. Most people don’t want to take a $50,000 horse and long trot them across the pasture, although I do with mine. We’re in a day and age where we have access to a lot of information, too much information actually. Everyone has advice: from reiners, cutters, horse trainers and guys who rope for a living. You can learn something from every one of them. It may not always be right, but it will challenge you to think and may even solidify what you believe.
Time spent and knowledge – be a student of it. Till next month, God Bless and I’ll see you down the line.MORE >>