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COWCHICK77 05-21-2013 10:04 PM

Thoughts from you team ropers
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In the June issue of Western horseman was an article featuring Tyler Magnus. It basically talked about equipment, adjustment, body position and a little on horsemanship.

One of my peeves is team ropers that only lope their horses on the left lead. I understand the thinking behind it but I just do not agree. I have found it makes for unbalanced horses. I have had a couple of horses that were trained this way and if you were to look straight down on them their muscling was uneven due to only loping on the left lead. And it is horrible habit to correct should they need to move on to something else. Mr. Magnus advocates only loping on the left lead but I will give him credit for counter bending. I honestly do not think this is "good horsemanship". I worked for a guy who also qualified for the NFR 10 times and all of his horses worked both ways but when it came time to rope they knew what lead to come out on, it wasn't an issue.

So do you guys only lope on the left lead?

QHriderKE 05-21-2013 10:19 PM

My good rope horse does prefer loping left and its a bit of a fight to get her to lope in a right circle IN AN ARENA. out of the arena, I can do whatever I want. She just knows that in an arena her job is roping and thats it.

Roperchick 05-21-2013 10:43 PM

Always always always both.

We had a horse that came to the ranch where my ex trainer was and it couldn't even walk. All its previous owner had done was lope on the left lead its right side was almost completely slack.

IMO you need a well balanced well muscled horse to be agile enough to get on the steer.

ETA. All my horses are multi trained for different events not just roping so they get a well rounded warm up/exercize anyways

ropinbiker 05-22-2013 12:21 PM

I lope mine in circles to the right when not at a roping....if I am practicing, or just doing something else like poles for something "different" for my horse to see, then I also warm up by loping to the right AFTER I have loped 10 or more circles and/or times around the arena...But, I want my horse thinking left lead only when $$ is on the line-so when warming up at a roping it's all to the left, but at those other, more relaxed times, I do work to the right...

If I was roping professionally, I would probably on lope my horse to the left while rodeoing...I would not lope to the right, the reason is the horse is only going to ever be in a left lead and will only pull(if heading) to left or turn a tight left turn in the corner(heel horse)-so, being set up mucle wise to go "left" is actually a good thing...that extra .5 second it takes for one to change a lead could cost me dearly, also if my horse starts in the wrong lead it effects your ability to swing the rope properly and puts you out of position to need your body in the "left lead" to get the proper swinging and delivery position.

COWCHICK77 05-22-2013 11:40 PM

50 Attachment(s)
I figured I would here from you three! :)

Thanks for the input, just curious on the opinions out there.
I understand the reasoning and I know that it is important to have your horse on the left lead both for the speed of the run, position and tip control. I just have a hard time with that reasoning after riding quality horses that were loped in both directions and they never left the box on the wrong lead- it can be done, plus they were horses that could be taken out to brand calves or other work(like your guys' horses). A couple were even shown in western pleasure.
When it did come time to rope they were walked and trotted in both directions, loped in the left lead, loped in the right lead, then loped again shortly to the left to get them thinking left.(of course variations of warming up depending on the horse)
But this was back in '00 and didn't know anything about TR horses(not that I do now!) so I thought maybe things have changed?

Roperchick 05-23-2013 01:15 AM

I don't know how others are training theirs and I'm sure that horses that are strictly time ropers are more strict about left left left.

With my guys though they were trained from the get go that if they're going faster than a trot out that box its on a left lead.

Any time they're backed in or even go near the box its like their brain knocks in "oh left time".

Other than that theyre perfectly comfortable going either and roping out in the open, sorting, cutting etc.

IIve been out of it since I enlisted so I'm not sure what they're like now though haha

Phly 05-23-2013 01:20 AM

Sounds like a good foundation for " one trick ponys". If that's all your gonna do with a horse I suppose it works.

But I'd rather an all a rounder.
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QHriderKE 05-23-2013 04:20 PM

If I ask for a lope on a straight line with my rope horse, she will always pick up the left lead first because that's what she knows. Even barrel racing, I have to circle right before I head to the barrels or else I'm on the wrong lead.
But, my mare has been roping for 7 or 8 years now, so she knows when its time for be a heading horse and when its time to just be a horse. When she's in "heading horse mode" she gets hotter and just thinks LEFT. I have tried to do right circles in warm up, and its a fight cause she says, "MA. I know my job. Jeesh." and theres me, used to riding greenies and such most of the time, "Crap. Right. Finished rope horse. Something that actually knows its job."
LOL. I get spoiled when I ride her.

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