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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Start - Rope Myers

The Start...
This is probably the least practiced but most important part of being successful as you continue on to the next levels in rodeo.

Often in practice, very little thought is given to how much of a head start is given to each animal. While most get the hang of catching up in the right part of the arena, in the practice pen they don’t have a clear enough understanding or enough repetitions to really be proficient at this vital part of rodeo.

First: Practice
At the next rodeo, you go to sit behind the box and with the aid of a friend practice the start. Put the hand you hold the reins 2 inches above either their shoulder or knee, and as each animal leaves the chute, drop your hand when the proper head start has been reached.  Then have your friend judge how well you got the start. After about 10-15 runs switch and let your partner do the same, and you can judge how they did on the start.  You will be surprised how this exercise will sharpen you up on your scoring ability.

Second: DIY
So many people leave this very important element up to someone else. They walk up and ask the guy on the back of the box what the start is. While he may be honest and he may even be good at scoring, that guy is looking to see what “he” needs to see and you may not score the same as he does. If you “throw them for the show and score them for the dough” why would you leave something as important as that to the prevailing opinion?  Figure out the start for yourself!

Third: See the Big Picture

While the goal is to be close to the barrier, you need to realize there are times when six inches late may be a better start that knocking it out of the latch. There are other times when your best chance of placing is to try to see how far you can stretch it.  Also, if I am going hard at the barrier rope it is going to let me catch up quicker than if I am pulling when I get there.  

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