By Tyler Magnus
This month, I want to touch on attitude, confidence and the importance of a goal oriented practice. I believe to succeed at anything in life, you need a good, positive attitude, confidence and goals. In roping, I believe we must have goal oriented practices which includes a good attitude and confidence.
When you are setting up a goal oriented practice, keep your existing problems in mind, as well as your positive points. Every practice session whether it's roping the dummy, exercising your horse or a full fledged practice... have a goal for the time spent.
Another key point when developing your plan or goals for a practice session is to keep your horses' needs first. Think of where you have been and what types of conditions your horse faced at the last roping. What were the cattle like... were they big, heavy or did they really run? What were the arena and box conditions like? These are all important things to evaluate and include in your next practice.
For example... if the cattle were big and really heavy, you wouldn't want to run big, heavy steers at home. Actually, you don't want to run big, heavy steers no matter the circumstances. You need to release the pressure at home and regain some of the confidence your horse may have lost at the roping. You don't want your horse dreading the arena. Also, if the cattle were really fast at the roping, you do not want to run fast steers at home. Again, release the pressure at home.
Practice with a purpose. look at what was successful and not successful at the last roping. Pick out what wasn't successful and develop a plan or goal oriented practice around that. Remember, always keep your horses' needs first, and then your needs.
This might mean that your horse needs a lot of scoring and/or chilling out and you need to develop more confidence with your rope. If that's the case... score several on your horse for his needs and rope the dummy to develop confidence with your rope.
Keep in mind that most of your problems stem from your horse. An unsuccessful delivery, which results in an unsuccessful loop comes from your horse. Lack of scoring, poor horsemanship or horse control, and poor horse position all have an impact on the success of your rope.
If it is a glitch in your swing or delivery, build confidence by roping the dummy on the ground, while all the time being aware of your body posture and body position on the ground - then incorporate that onto your horse. Remember, our weaknesses have to be our horse's strong points and our strong points have to be our horses weaknesses.
By building a goal oriented practice, we work on control and confidence. These are the things that we want to accomplish in the practice pen. Control and confidence are both needed to achieve speed. You cannot have speed without either one of these. Remember, we can't keep doing the same thing over an over again and expect a different result; with your horse or your rope.
If you are serious about roping and want to achieve success, I suggest you take advantage of all of the education that is available today. There are numerous avenues available for education: articles, dvds, and hands-on clinics to help you reach the level of success you want. For more information on what I have available, and what we can do to help you... give us a call today.