Bach Roping

with Allen Bach

Do you always try to head your steers coming to them because you know your horse won’t rate off and you’ll end up getting too close, and then your reins will be up in your chest and it will mess with your delivery? You’re not alone – a lot of people unconsciously rush their throw because they know their horse won’t maintain position.

Do you sometimes wish you could “just go rope” instead of being faced with too much to think about when you practice or compete? It dawned on me the other day that the best ropers in the world can just go rope because they’ve been able to program their subconscious mind for each specific step of their run.

There’s been a lot of talk about the trouble some of the team ropers had at the recent NFR. Having roped at 30 NFRs, I don’t remember a time when horns were as small as they were on the set of steers they used in December.

It’s pretty simple – at the Finals, when guys are obviously trying to be as fast as they can and we know they’ll be reaching, they should be roping a certain kind of cattle. For the sake of our sport, we want to show off our best guys in the world.

Speeding up your run starts with how you leave the box, because good balance will allow you to pick your rope up early enough to get a few swings off and still catch fast. Everyone needs two swings before they throw – even the guys at the NFR, which is why they start swinging in the box.

Have you ever gotten to your steer before you were ready to throw? You need to work on starting to swing that rope when you’re barely to the front of the box. Ask yourself how many swings you can get off before you get to the steer. You really have to work on being aggressive and getting your arm up to get off two good swings before you get there on a slow steer.

It may be easier to swing earlier if you’re not clutching the saddle horn in the corner. I find that much of the time, people learned to hold the horn in the box because they were getting behind – they’d been trying to stand up as their horse left the corner, and were getting thrown back.