A lot of roping is about the right position. Success stands and falls with one's own position. Especially in the timed events it is important to get yourself and your horse in the best position as quickly as possible. In the following I would like to give you an example.
What is the optimal position for the header?
The following example is about the best position for the header. There are some areas where he shouldn't be. Denoted as "No Man's Land" in the following graphics. There you run the risk of not only catching the cattle, but also the front legs of your own horse. Of course, there are also situations that require deviations from the optimal position. But this article is about the basics and to illustrate the relevance of the position. Ultimately, the bridge to horsemanship can also be built here. Especially when it's a matter of time and both rider and horse are under "current" it is a special challenge to bring your horse into the appropriate position. Anyone who has ever ridden a horse by the cattle may have noticed that many things suddenly work differently there. The excitement ensures that the horses initially no longer listen quite as sensitively as a rider might know from his horse without cattle. Now the challenge for the rider is not only to master his rope but also to control his horse as precisely as possible and to bring it into the position described below.
The position of your own body also plays a major role. Headers and heelers usually start on the left canter. On the one hand, because the team roping progresses to the front left. On the other hand, it makes sense for the header in particular because it allows him to open his shoulders towards the cow and has a large area of influence in order to be able to adapt quickly.
In contrast, if you bring your right shoulder too far forward, the area of influence between your own shoulders becomes significantly smaller. This limits your ability to act and makes you much less flexible overall.
Catch depending on position
Depending on the position you are in, different catches are more suitable. There are basically two ways of catching the horns of the cattle. The easier variant is to first catch the horns from right to left. The Roper's right hand guides the loop from the right horn sideways over both horns. The loop is in a vertical position and flies sideways over the cow's head. The Roper's hand makes the movement that the loop should make. The rope is nothing more than the extension of your own arm and the loop corresponds to the palm of your hand.
The second variant is to catch both horns at the same time. Here the loop has a more horizontal plane and flies from behind over both horns at the same time. Again, the loop corresponds to the palm of the Roper's hand. This variant is possible from several positions. Even from a greater distance. However, this way of catching the horns is a little more complicated.
In the following graphic you can see in which area which catch is suitable. Both variants are possible in a small area close to the cattle. With increasing distance, however, the second variant is more suitable.
In the following video Trevor Brazile & Dale Brisby show the basics in detail and explain exactly where the advantages lie.
Have fun watching
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