It is often said that Amateurs think in tactics and Professionals think in logistics. I believe the logistics of roping at a high level are just as important if not more than the actual skill it takes to get there. Roping at a high level is a large undertaking. It takes time, energy, horse power, will power, correct finances, proper practice scenarios, and proper transportation among many other things.
Many young people really want to rope at a high level, but most are not willing to take the time to step back and think about the logistics it takes to get there. Do you have enough horses? Do you have enough steers? How about your finances? How reliable is your truck? Things like this make the difference between someone who ropes good and someone who makes the NFR.
How many horses do you have/need? Now this can be different for everyone, some people believe they are at their sharpest when they have at least 15-20 horses they rope on every day while others prefer 5 rank ones and a practice horse. Everyone is different but the fact remains that high level ropers have a herd of horses that works for them and they can run a lot of steers every day.
Do you have a good place to practice? A place that lets you run as many steers as needed and gets you to a higher level most every day? Do you have the right kind of steers and enough of them? Do you have the right guys coming over that understand your goals and help push you to a higher level?
Have you thought about your own finances in depth? Do you have the money to go to several ropings/rodeos, not win and still be able to keep going? Everything is not always going to go your way and a person needs to be able to financially withstand the ups and downs that come with roping.
What about your own energy level? Coming from a person who has ridden 20 roping horses in a day, it is exhausting. I hear people say all the time, must be nice to rope all day, but it takes a substantial amount of energy to ride 15-20 head, much less take care of them. Are you in good enough physical shape to perform at that level.
Let’s talk transport. Now, I’m not saying you have to have a 100k + rig to go down the road, there have been many guys that made the finals in a stock trailer. But I am saying a person needs at least a reliable truck and a safe trailer in order to start rodeoing and going full time. Trotting to the roping or always having to catch a ride is not a sustainable solution.
How about your time management? The best in the world rope a lot of steers every day, they work on their game, enter rodeos, lineup partners and manage their practice every day. This takes a substantial time investment in order to get the things done that improve your game. Remember movement without achievement is the drain to your life.
It takes a lot of factors to create a high level roper and many of them have nothing to do with a rope. It is the guys that are willing to step back and take a 10,000 foot view of their game that continue to get to a higher and higher level. Those who are not, often never get to the level that they desire. Roping is just like anything, you get out what you put in. As always, hope this article was helpful, Stay safe, Have Fun and God Bless.