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For spectators watching Ropers go about their task, it may look easy. That is because the ropers are very talented, practiced and skilled at what they do. When one considers what it really takes to become a Roper, it can be surprising what it takes to succeed:

Reading the Cattle

One of the aspects of roping is that no two calves or steers are the same. It means that the roper must learn how to read the subject of their roping. Steers particularly can really vary in the way they move and the speed that they have. Some steers tend to move hard putting a lot of effort into their movements. Other steers don’t put in as much effort. Then there are those steers that come across as being lazy.

Reading of the Steer must be done quickly and it will depend on the type of event that is being participated in if it is being a round that is being participated in there is very little time for Steer assessment. The runs must be made as quickly as possible and not much thought can be given to the handling.

Keeping Control of the Horse

While at the same time trying to read the actions of the Steer the roper also must be able to read the horse that they are riding. It means having to keep control of the horse regarding their speed. How the horse reacts is going to cause a specific response to the Steer. Knowing how to balance these is just one of the many techniques that are required in the roping events.

By knowing the speed that a Steer is going to produce it allows the roper to be one step ahead. For each type of Steer reaction, a specific technique can be used. This is part of the learning that comes with roping. All too often one thinks that it’s just a matter of being able to handle the rope and handle the horse.