Embrace The Number Bump

team roping - Embrace The Number Bump

Embrace the number bump.

Let’s face it. The leveling system of Team Roping revolutionized the sport. It gave everyone from beginners to world champs an opportunity to compete at their own level. It gave the new guy, or the disadvantaged a chance to make slow but consistent runs and still get a check.
It also made the top end of the game stronger. It consolidated the best Ropers into the open and higher numbered ropings putting them all in the same spot made it tougher. A rising tide lifts all ships.

30 years ago one tough roper usually never got challenged at a small hometown jackpot and therefore he never got better. He just dominated and bullied a weaker bunch.

The leveling system has made this the fastest growing and highest paid western equine sport.

I’ve always felt that a person should try to reach the top of the mountain. Go as far as they can go. Take me for example, I’m an open competitor in the NCHA (and still have a long way to go there) but in the USTRC I am only a number 7. A mid level roper. I feel that although I’m nearing 40 I should still try and get better. I still have 3 numbers to go before I reach the top of the mountain. For a short time I was accepting the fact that I was mid level and then one day I decided that wasn’t good enough. I don’t want to turn 80 and feel like I shorted myself. So lately I’ve been working harder. A new feather in my cap would be to get a new card with a number 8 on it.

Most people don’t want a higher number. Let’s face it. We have commended mediocrity to the point that a mid level amateur can win more money in Vegas than Trevor Brazile. There is no real motivation or incentive for one to move up the ladder. Most guys get together with a group of friends and rope a handful of practice steers once a week and drink twice as many beers and call it tuning up. They get away with their so called practice sessions and eventually after enough success they get a number change.

Really, it don’t hurt them, they already proved that they have the skills to move to the next level, but now they may have to practice twice a week and get their horse in better shape or maybe even buy a new one because ol’ blue ain’t as fast as the next guys big bay and he is to the steers 3 jumps quicker.

A higher number demands more. And let’s face it. People in this game, like many in this country, want to do as little as possible to get the most money.

It’s kind of like being the cowboss on a big ranch. He gets up earlier, stays later, attends meetings and balances numbers while the bunkhouse cowboys are at the bar. Sure he makes more money but more is demanded of him. He needs to be sharper than the rest.
The problem we have with team roping is that higher numbered ropings are a lot tougher to win at and generally don’t pay well.

I personally believe the open should pay more than any other roping. I don’t think the other ropings should pay less, I just think the higher the number the bigger the payouts. Like the open at the World Series in Vegas should pay 1 million dollars to the winners, new truck, new trailer, saddles, buckles, the works. It gives us all something to shoot for. Trust me, the money is out there. Tons of companies making millions of dollars on the names and reputations of great Cowboys. They give you a few ropes and a new pair of boots and some jeans and make you feel honored to have them behind you. But if it wasn’t for the guys at the top promoting their products, they wouldn’t do as well.

My point is that we all need motivation and something to strive for and I believe we should all strive to become higher numbered Ropers.

If you are a 4 and have been there a while maybe take some lessons, find a coach and pay him to help you. Address your weaknesses and work on them. Maybe you need to ride better or get a new horse. Maybe you need to rope better and need more time on the dummy. Maybe you need to lose weight or work on exercises for hand eye coordination. But if I was a 4 my goal in the next year would be to make it impossible for me to enter the 8. If I was a 5 my goal would be to make it impossible for me to enter the 9. And so on.

Try to be the best you can be, not do as little as possible to stay in the lowest numbered ropings. Some folks have a handicap they were born with. My son won his first saddle with a one armed man. I’ve seen that one armed man train colts and rope steers and do it in all kinds of weather with a smile on his face. He was born with one arm, and never ever complains. What’s your excuse?

My challenge to y’all, throughout the next year, is to earn that number change. Make them bump you. Earn it. Love it. Be proud of it. Trust me , the juice is worth the squeeze. Once you experience it, you’ll never want to go back.

For those of you in the 8, many of you are beginners or older folks. To the beginner I say welcome and how may I help. To the 70 year old veteran I salute you. We have what we have today because of your support.

Our life is an hour glass glued to a table. We can’t slow the sands of time. I don’t want to hit a number and stay there. Don’t ever stop swinging til they ring the bell and always play like an underdog.

From Somewhere Down in Texas,
Scott Hulme

Learn From The Best Ropers In The World

X Factor Roping is the easiest and most effective way to improve your roping.

We're committed to providing the best online resources for ropers of all skill levels.

Pro Members have access to over 2,500 videos including full ropings, exclusive highlights, instructional videos, interviews, practice footage, our online coaching program, and more. 

  • The Ultimate Roping Library

    Access our entire vault - including instructional videos, full ropings, exclusive rodeo runs, interviews, slow motion footage, and more.

  • Convenient Access

    With mobile apps for iOS and Android you can take our entire library on the go with you. Download videos for offline viewing or add them to your library to watch later. No service, no problem!

  • Roping Events

    We cover some of the biggest and best roping events each and every year. Streaming live exclusively on our new Apps you can watch on the big screen. Available to stream on your computer or our easy to use apps on Roku, Amazon fireTV, AppleTV, and Android TV. 

  • Training Videos

    Our videos have some of the best instructors like Joseph Harrison, Ryan Motes, Jojo Lemond, and more. They cover every aspect of roping from heading, heeling, horsemanship, and the mental game.

  • Exclusive Interviews

    We go behind the scenes with exclusive pre and post roping interviews with the competitors, winners, and the producers.

  • Practice Footage

    Exclusive practice footage you won't find anywhere else so you can see exactly how to practice like the pros.

  • Online Coaching

    Access to our Online Coaching Facebook Group for Team Roping and Breakaway Roping with our amazing coaches Jade Corkill, Buddy Hawkins, and Tyler Wade.


Meet Your Coaches

✅ 3X World Champion Jade Corkill
✅ 3X NFR Qualifier Tyler Wade
✅ 3X NFR Qualifier Buddy Hawkins

Coaching from the best in the world is available at your finger tips. Submit videos of your runs, ask questions, and get answers.

Watch from anywhere

No television provider needed. Your favorite videos, available wherever you want.


Hear From Other Pro Members

Brad, Texas

Being able to watch the slow mo videos have really been a blessing for me. It’s helped me learn my delivery for heeling. Along with how and where my horse needs to be. Some nights my girlfriend and I will break down videos to help us out. She has really progressed in breakaway roping because of watching your videos.

Lauren, California

X Factor has completely changed my mindset in my practice, how I compete and shaped a lot of my horsemanship while roping. I have ridden horses, trained, and barrel raced all my life, but within the past 3 years I have started to rope. I had a young horse I knew I couldn't finish in the barrels because she isn't very fast, but would make a great heel horse. So I set off on an adventure of training a rope horse, all while also learning to rope myself! Lucky me, my horse is a natural at reading cattle and watching a corner, but it was still a learning curve. My X Factor membership purchase was a turning point for my positioning, warm up for my heel horse and my body control translating to my horse when delivering. X Factor was also when my "self teaching" of how to heel really took off! Watching videos over and over, taking notes and exploring all of the different pros to learn from was what really helped me start to figure out my swing, timing and delivery.

Clay, Missouri

It has helped my horsemanship out a lot. My favorite part about the site is by far the Facebook coaching group. Ryan Motes series on advancing through the different levels of heeling has helped me the most. My mental game has improved significantly.. And it has changed the way I practice I used to just run steers now I practice to accomplish something.

Daniel, Mississippi

I love X Factor, it has helped me work on everything from dummy work to horsemanship. I’ve roped and been doing something wrong, go home and find my problem on the website. I’ve started roping in the practice pin a lot different where I use to just go make runs I now have a goal on every steer I run. Thank you, keep doing what y’all are doing!!

Blaine, Mississippi

It has help me tremendously with my horsemanship, the way I practice, and also how approach certain situation. My favorite part of the site is all the different categories you can choose from to work on. Love it

Jordynn, Canada

X Factor has helped me probably the most in my horsemanship which is precisely why I was interested in becoming a member to begin with. So mission accomplished. My favourite parts about the site is the horsemanship videos. And the videos of the ropings. I would say the Joseph Harrison and the Ryan Motes videos have helped me the most. Both a great horsemen and I like how they Really break down what they’re doing with their colts I practice completely different than I used to. And with me being a colt starter and rope horse trainer I take a lot from the horse training videos. And really appreciate them being available.

Cutting Edge

Regular Updates

At least 24 new professionally filmed videos added monthly. That's over 2 hours of exclusive footage every month added to our membership area

Top Quality

Professional Footage

Access to over 2,500 videos to take your roping to the next level. Including instructional videos, highlights, and our exclusive slow motion area

Coaching Program

Personal Feedback

Learn from the best in Roping! Buddy Hawkins, Jade Corkill, and Tyler Wade have teamed up with X Factor Roping to coach our members