Most of my life my every waking moment was spent trying to figure out how to be the best roper possible. I was very successful for a lot of years and truly enjoyed competing. My whole world changed when my daughter was born. I was at the NFR when she was born and won my 7th world title that year.
Rich and I both had little girls about the same time. We won the world that last year, but never led the world until the last cow of the NFR. My priorities had changed, my head horses were at the end of their journey and I was borrowing horses. Without Bob and Viper it just didn’t feel the same to compete.
I competed a few more years, but my spare time was all about my kids and it wasn’t long before I retired from full time competition. My goal was to make a living and be around my kids while they were growing up. I’ve accomplished this with speedroping.com, a video library full of training videos for ropers and their horses. There are a variety of videos with drills for practice as well as competition videos where I break down the run with a voice over. There are almost 2,500 categorized videos total with over 2,500,000 total views. You can definitely find the help you need. With all the schools I have taught I have learned so much about breaking down a run.
Lately I’ve had some of the top ropers in the world at the house roping: Jade Corkill, Kaleb Driggers, Patrick Smith, Jake Long, Coleman Proctor, Cale Markham and Chase Tryan. Jade had called me and said he was catching two feet, but that it didn’t feel right. He came over and we roped about forty steers. During that entire session he only roped one leg.
I watched the video that night and was surprised at what I saw. I called him and said, “Are you sure you want my opinion?” He said he did, that he knew something was wrong. I told him the fundamentals were nowhere near what they had been in the past. I’ve put together a 13-minute video where I broke down the details of his runs. Don’t get me wrong; when you watch the video he ropes almost all of his steers by two feet. I talk about the angle of rope, speed of the swing and delivery. So many things were not in line.
I want to thank Jade for letting me talk about this. A lot of guys haven’t wanted me to put our conversations out in public. Jade says, “It is what it is.” It was amazing to watch him fix his roping during the next couple of weeks and go back to his old style of heeling.
One of the things I do is load all their practice runs and then go back and talk about it. I’m currently working with Kaleb and Patrick and telling them what I see in their runs. They were very open to hearing the different things, watching the video and then trying something different. When you’re dealing with the best ropers in the world, it’s amazing how fast they can adapt and change the necessary things to fix their runs.
It’s a lot like golf. Usually it’s not the major things, it’s little things that end up causing big problems. You’ll be ahead of the game if you can figure out that little problem before it starts snowballing into something major.
Clay Tryan has been teasing me about going next year because the finals are going to pay so much. I can honestly say that burning desire to compete is not there. I love to rope and go to jackpots, but teaching something I love to do is very enjoyable. Plus I get to spend every day with my family.
If you’ve never been to speedroping.com, be sure and visit and check out some of the runs I’ve talked about. It’s kind of a rule when they come to my house – it all goes online. Good, bad or ugly.
What’s new with me: I’ve been staying booked with schools at my house. Jennifer’s good heel horse, J-Lo, recently had a heart attack and died in the arena so she has not been much for competing lately. I’ve been helping coach Gabe’s baseball team and we are 8-1 and after one more game will play district. That has been a new experience for me. I could write a whole article about baseball moms and dads.