Breaking It Down


Speed Williams

By Speed Williams
speedroping.com

   When I was growing up, and about 14 or 15 years old, my mom would allow me to go to rodeos as long as I was home Monday morning by 8 a.m. to go to school. I had a partner named Darrell Solly and I would buy the meals and he would drive. We would go wherever we could that I could make it back in time for school Monday.

By Speed Williams
speedroping.com

   This month we’re going to talk about how the luck of the draw plays a major factor in the sport of rodeo. Recently we went to the Texas Junior High School finals in Gonzales, Texas. Gabe and his partner, Denton Parrish, ended up winning state and qualified for the Junior High National Finals. In the short round they drew a steer on the stronger end and did a good job of making qualified run. They won the average and overall points. I was very proud of them and the hard work they’ve put in.

By Speed Williams
speedroping.com

   When my daughter first started junior rodeo, I showed her how to find out which steer she drew, who had run him and then to go look at her calf or steer before competing. I told her she needed to make a visual assessment. Did he look sick, thin, fat, or anything else that could hint at how he may run? Then she needed to run the scenario in her mind of what she thought he would do and, ultimately how she would respond. It was something I did back when I competed. I gathered as much information as possible on the steer or calf before I ran him. Finding out his track record enabled me to make an educated guess of what he may do when the gates banged.

By Speed Williams
speedroping.com

  One of the things I work at the most when teaching heading and breakway roping is getting a good start. It’s probably one of the most complex things because there are so many factors and variables that can affect you. A lot of people train horses on a loose rein and kick start so they can stay very calm in the box. You don’t ever get them hot, mad or breathing fire. You can get away with that in the lower number ropings and when you’re not trying to go fast and be 4 or 5 in team roping, or a 1 or 2 in the breakaway.