Breaking It Down

Speed Williams

By Speed Williams

The last year and a half has been interesting, to say the least. About 18 months ago, I was teaching a school at Chad Havens’ in south Texas. I met a man who’d flown there in his own jet, who wanted to learn to rope and ride. After a few lessons he wanted to hire me full time.  

One of the biggest struggles for headers is learning to rope faster. Now days, at most jackpots, the barrier is short and the header just needs to let the steer move before leaving the box. This often positions the header at his steer quicker than he’s ready to rope. How well you ride across the line will dictate how fast you will be able to rope.

Last month I talked about improving your roping and the benefits of using a mechanical dummy. In this article I will elaborate on the difference in using a mechanical dummy and other methods commonly used.

Low numbered ropers often ask me whether someone can actually improve their roping using a mechanical dummy. The answer is absolutely – if you’re willing to work at it. What prohibits most people from reaching their potential is they want to have fun in the practice pen roping live steers and expect to improve while doing so.

I know more than a few guys who fit this profile. They’ve roped more than ten years, they practice twice a week, enter jackpots several times a month and have never improved. You will not improve if you’re unwilling to break it down and understand your weaknesses. You should work on your weakest link, whether it’s not being able to catch close, problems scoring, your horse won’t pull, etc.