By Speed Williams
speedroping.com

We’ve been busy preparing and getting the kids ready for the USTRC Finals. It’s one of the few places they get to rope for a lot of money. Hali has struggled this year after getting raised to a 5+ after last year’s USTRC Finals. 

By Speed Williams
speedroping.com

We’ve been busy preparing and getting the kids ready for the USTRC Finals. It’s one of the few places they get to rope for a lot of money. Hali has struggled this year after getting raised to a 5+ after last year’s USTRC Finals. 

In 2017 she was a 4+, but then got moved to a 5 after the USTRC roping in San Antonio. She roped well at the finals, but considering the cattle and barrier, it’s hard for a 13 year-old girl to carry a 5+ head card. This year she’s spent twice as much on entry fees as she’s won. Our plan is for her to be roping more like a 5+ by the time we get to the finals. We’ve been working on being able to rope faster and controlling her horse to better handle her steers. 

There’s so much involved in preparing for the finals. Now with the barrier you have to be ready to rope faster. With over 300 teams, the days of getting a check by running three-quarters of the pen and turning them off are long gone.

How you practice will play a large part in how much success you have. You need a practice horse that will let you work on your roping. Don’t practice for yourself on your good horses, that practice should be about making sure they are working correctly. Those are two entirely different objectives.

One of the most common mistakes I see people make waiting just two weeks before the finals to get their horse ready. They rope too much and get him sore. Your horse needs to be legged up, in shape, and ready to compete – and that takes longer than two weeks. 

Think about it – you will have the opportunity to rope for a lot of money, maybe more than ever before. So it’s well worth the time and trouble it takes to have you and your horse working correctly. When you’re practicing, DON’T score the cow you can’t catch. Whether he goes left, right, slow or fast. Work on the cow that will eliminate you at the roping so when you draw him, you will be comfortable and know how to overcome the challenge.

Also, when you’re in the practice pen, you need to believe that you’re high call and have to catch in a certain amount of time to win. Put that pressure on yourself and run that scenario over and over in the practice pen. That way, when you’re in that situation at the roping, you won’t be as nervous because you’re ready and know how to succeed.  

This year it’s a little hard to predict what the steers will be like since there will be no Open roping or Open ropers to break them in. It’s kind of shocking that they’re not having an Open this year. I hate it for the sport and what it stands for. I hate the fact that there are all these kids trying to be the very best they can be and the USTRC doesn’t have an Open roping to showcase them and give them a chance to rope for that kind of money.

What’s new with me: The other day while stepping off my 4-wheeler, I got injured and cracked three ribs and it’s had me down about six weeks. It’s amazing how many things you can’t do with cracked ribs. My kids had to step up and head and heel for me at my clinics. I’ve been impressed and grateful with how hard they’ve worked and how much they’ve helped. 

We’ve loaded video on speedroping.com showing the struggle my son has had heeling and trying to get his bottom strand on the ground. He is heeling for his sister at the Junior Rodeos this year. Oh my, that is a whole new awakening in having things to do when you have two kids in Junior Rodeo. That’s a lot of horses to have ready. 

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