Several horses got a treat today. I got several of my horses teeth worked on today by a great man, Matt Scogins. He lives in Louisiana and does a terrific job. Matt has been a blessing to my family this week in many ways.
Nawny Jones worked her magic on one with a massage and laser treatment.
Thank you both so much...
It's important to keep up the well being of your horse. I don't get one worked on every time they don't work correctly, but there are times that a horse dentist and chiropractor can do wonders.
Just going over some basics with the kids. I really enjoy kids that really work hard and have the grit to stay out in the heat and practice and push themselves to get better. Parents spend a lot of money to let their kids rodeo so it's important when the kids really work hard.
Coy doing some heelomatic drills.
Hudson and new horse on Heelomatic
November 19th -
I'm thankful this is a pretty busy time of year for me. We even have lots of kids coming to rope during their time off from school. Skylar Southerland brought a new breakaway horse to work on. She did great. Then she moved on to team roping practice.
Relio has really improved his horsemanship and his understanding of working with younger horses. Recognizing and feeling when to ask a horse for something is important when teaching the horse. The horse progression is based on a person's timing and feel. Timing and feel cannot be forced. You have to work with the horse and learn to recognize when and how to accomplish the goal for the horse.
I was asked a question in regards to calf roping. The problem was blowing the left stirrup when leaving the box. Without seeing the roper, the most likely issue is body position in the saddle before leaving the box. I would guess that the majority of the person's weight is on the right side plus they are leaning forward trying to balance to get out. I bet when they are leaving the box, they are leaning and reaching with the right side of their body. In any roping event, the left side of your body has to be more dominant due to riding your horse (left hand) and the position of your swing (right hand) has to be back. For the most part, as your horse leaves the box, you should push with your left hand
(send your horse) and use your left leg to support you in order to absorb the horse leaving and get your swing started at the same time.
I often say, "don't abandon your horse with your left side." Your left side affects so many things - your strength, your control of your horse, your range of delivery etc. If you abandon your horse, there is only a small window of opportunity to catch. Why decrease your chances?
Email me your personal questions/ issues and I'll get back to you.
November 24th -
I'm proud to have Callaway Ropes as a sponsor. I am blessed that we have stayed together all of these years. They are truly a great family.
I just tried the SS Bullet and it is great.. Give it a try. You won't be disappointed.
November 26th - Another email from someone having a horse issue -
"What should I do when my heel horse consistently gets in too close or high up on the steer where you cannot see the feet, in other words, how do I keep his nose from going past the hip?"
Without riding the horse and listening to the problem the first thing I would say that is going on is that when the gate pops, he just runs not paying attention to the steer - even though you notice it at the steer or in the corner. This means he is not listening to your hands and your and/or your horse are just going with the sound of the gates. This leads to making him stiff (heavy) in the bridle which then leads to stiff (non responsive) in the ribcage. So when the header makes the catch and starts the corner the horse is pulling on your hand and going to where he "thinks" he needs to go. He is basically just following the head horse move out of the corner. You probably try to fix the horse in the corner, when actually you need to go further back and get his responses at the beginning of the run.
How do you fix it?
Start with the beginning of the run. Is he in fact pulling on you when the gate pops? More than likely. If so, stop him immediately. Set him down and allow no more forward motion. He needs to respect your commands (the bridle) at any time during the run. Keep in mind, ropers have to learn to make sure they are not "balancing" on the reins or this problem will come back.
Once you have regained control at the gates let him move a little further down the run. If he tries to pull you in at the corner, set him down again, STRAIGHT, do not let him turn. Once that is worked out go a little further in the run.
Basically, this type of stuff needs to be addressed during warm up and exercise to avoid this issue during the run. Lateral movement, flex, stopping straight or lack of any of this, is all an indication of things to come during the run. Rope horses should be watching the cow as well as listening to the rider. We often take that away from them when we numb them to our cues by either balancing on reins or constantly squeezing with legs and so forth.
This happens at every level of roping. Speed, as your roping improves to higher levels, causes the same issue as well. This is all a part of team roping, as your horsmanship improves you'll just learn to address it earlier before you lose control during the run. Another reason we all practice - sometimes it's not always for you - could be for your horse.
Thanks for the questions. Keep them coming.
Discipline - If there is one thing you choose to improve this year, the mental aspect of the sport is a good one. I found myself slipping on this one from just not entering much lately. We each have habits that tend to happen over and over again in regards to roping. I find myself changing my roping for the horse training. This is something that I have to keep in mind especially when I train a lot of head horses.
What are your bad habits or natural tendencies that you would like to work on?
Callaway ropes have been so good to me over the years. They are a great family to work with.
Remember to take care of your ropes. That's probably the only thing my wife says I take care of that well. They can't just be crammed in your bag and then expect them to last. They even come in the house in cold weather just like the dogs :)
I've also recently admitted I have to take care of my body as well (at my age anyway). Workout routine in progress these days. I have got to get some of that strength back that I now realize I've lost over the years.
Show me your smile!! Matt Scoggins worked on about 7 head of horses today at the arena. Several rope horses received some dental work. (Denton looks like he's learned a lot from Matt.)
Matt is still in the area for a few days if you would like more information on dental work for horses.
We are headed to the chiropractor tomorrow - my horse that is. I'm not one to go at the drop of a hat just because I rope bad or think my horse isn't working, but I do believe there are times that your horse may need it. Mine has been indicatng to us that something is wrong or needs attention. I want to make sure he is at the best performing level that he can be as well as myself.
Your horse is such an important factor in your confidence in roping. You need to be confident that you are safe and that the horse is trying to "help" you achieve your goals. A good solid horse releases you to focus on roping. Obviously, I'm a big promoter of improving horsemanship but there is a time you can't be worrying about your horse or constantly fixing him. There is a time to win. A good horse makes this easy. I'd rather spend the money and get the right horse for me then just get by on something else.
There are no short cuts in roping and I don't recommend short cuts in finding a horse that's right for you. That does not mean you have to purchase the most expensive one. There are affordable quality horses out there.
March 30th: Roping is in full swing around here. Thank the Lord for the good weather (I could do with a little less wind). We've got some good horses around that are solid and for sale. Ryan Tittel stopped by and roped on Friday. We showed a few horses and roped with some good customers. I've been busy and was getting pushed to the back of the list for a while. Good thing he could use an extra one to practice on - worked out for both of us.
Got a new practice plan in mind. We could all use this at times. It's hard to push ourselves past our point of comfort because we don't want to miss, but we need to push ourselves more at times. Sometimes catching is just our comfort zone. Consistency is good but make sure you push to the level you haven't conquered yet. It kees you rising.
Thanks so much to Brent Proctor. He is a great horse chiropractor if you need one in this area. He worked on my horse who hadn't been in a while. Give him a call.
Check out these great products below. Contact Nawny Jones for more information and pricing on other equine, livestock and pet products.
Robert Rice getting some Heelomatic practice in. There are lots of drills you can do with it. It's a great tool.
One of the most fundamental keys to roping - position.
This means body position, swing position, horse position. This the first step to gaining consistency.
We gain more out of a practice by starting out slow and using the heelomatic before running live steers at practice. To me, using the heelomatic correctly is like a warm up drill in other sports. It slows you and your horse down so you can focus on the fundamentals of position (horse, body, swing delivery) and lets you mentally prepare yourself for the next step. It quickly shows what areas you need to work on.
Everyday in the arena, I try to keep a few key things in mind for everyone including
quality runs, high intensity and smooth fundamentals. This week our focus was simulating focus for the roping. Everyone comes to rope everyday. They learn the routine. This week we changed it up. Your first steer in the practice pen was "the first steer at the roping. You miss you are done. Not fun when you take for granted you get to run the remaining practice steers.
Do not underestimate the importance of roping the dummy. If you can't rope live steers during the week. Be sure and rope the dummy. Keep up the intensity. Keep up your good fundamentals and you will still be moving forward.
I've got a new roper that works 14 days straight and then comes to practice with us for a week. It's obvious he is roping the dummy during the work days as much as possible. He continues to progress at a rapid pace due to quality practice - even though most of it is only the dummy.
SHARPER - FASTER: So you have the fundamentals down. A roper should never get away from their fundamentals. When you don't seem to have the success or you are starting to miss - ALWAYS CHECK YOUR FUNDAMENTALS.
There are several levels of ropers. So how do you get to the next level up? If all levels have the same fundamentals, it brings it to play several things like horsemanship, discipline or maybe you just need to be sharper in each of the fundamentals you do.