09-21-2011, 03:56 PM
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I look for horses who are thick, muscular, and shorter (around 15 hh or shorter). If he's going to be heading, then the horse will need to have some speed to him. As for conformation...good conformation is good conformation. A horse with bad conformation won't stand up to the heavy work load of a roping horse. They'll need good bone and bigger feet, shorter backs are always a good thing, nice straight legs, etc. It will need to have a good, solid temperament because arena roping horses tend to get just as bad about sourness and bracing as a barrel horse. So a solid temperament is the first line of defense against that, second is how they are handled in the box. You see many ropers that get the horse in the box and they yank and spur and yank and spur and yank, even when the horse is clearly already as far back in the box as he can go. That is a very good and fast way to make a horse box sour.
Also, if you are wanting something with roping experience that hasn't already been ruined, you're going to be looking at some pretty expensive horses. A horse around here that has been started properly on team or calf roping will be $5000+, depending on their breeding.