Breaking It Down

Speed Williams

This month we’re going to talk about hauling green horses and some things that can give you a better chance at winning on them. This subject is dear to me this month because this is exactly what I’ve had to do lately, since my three first-string horses are all on the injured reserve list. I rode Sheriff at the Odessa rodeo, his second rodeo ever. I rode a seventeen-year-old green horse, Doc, at the Ft. Worth rodeo. 

Brad [Culpepper] and I just finished our first week of competition in 2013. We went to open ropings in Andrews and Odessa, the rodeo in Odessa, and the USTRC roping in Waco. Since the horses I had planned to rope are all on the “injured reserve” list, I had the luxury of starting a green horse, Sheriff, at the rodeo. Sheriff is a full brother to Two Moons, one of my better horses.

Riding a green horse at the rodeos is pretty tricky. You have to figure out how to get in the arena and expose him to the sights like banners, lights, etc. before you actually compete.

We just got home from the National Finals. I want to thank MGM Grand for taking such good care of me during my stay in Las Vegas. Every year MGM offers some terrific NFR packages that include hotel accommodations and plaza seats at the rodeo. If you’re planning on going next year, it’s a fantastic deal that’s tough to beat.

I was at the Thomas & Mack nine of the 10 rounds, and yes, sitting in the stands it looks much easier than it actually is. Lots of people thought the team roping was pretty soft. But when teams make runs of 4.3, 4.4, or 4.5 and not win much, it causes others to try to be 3-seconds. And when you try to make a 3-second run, your catching percentage decreases dramatically.

This month I want to talk about a tricky subject, failure. If you will do the homework and are 100% honest with yourself, you can usually turn your failures into great opportunities for improvement.
Headers, if all your heelers miss but catch for their other partners, there’s a good chance much of the blame lies with you. The other day I went to the Biggest East of the Mississippi and entered six times. I broke one barrier and turned all of my steers. All six of my heelers missed or roped a leg. At the time when I was asked what was wrong, my answer was "I’m not dragging them into the heel loops."