Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to Swing Heel Rope in Team Roping?

Team roping requires two cowboys, two horses, two ropes and a steer. A timed rodeo event where the fastest time wins, each cowboy depends on the other to win the event, the money and the trophy. The header catches the steer first and pulls the steer to the left side of the rodeo arena. The heeler follows closely behind the header and the steer, skillfully casting his rope to trap the steer's back feet. Swinging the heel rope requires timing and accuracy to hit the target each time.
Step 1
Create a loop in your rope by sliding the rope thorough the eye, or honda, at the end of the rope. Make the loop in the rope about 4 feet in diameter, large enough to trap the steer's heels. Hold the remaining coil in your left hand, along with your reins.
Step 2
Hold the loop in your right hand with your fingers and thumb wrapped around the loop and the rope. The rope's honda faces forward toward your horse's head. Leave a spoke, or distance, between your hand holding the loop and the honda about equal to the distance between your hand and your elbow.
Step 3
Swing the loop above your head by rotating your wrist. Adjust your arm, so the loop swings to the left of your head at a 45 degree angle. Watch your horse's left ear, if you see the loop passing to the side of his ear, you have the correct angle.
Step 4
Create an even rhythm in the loop, timed with the steer's hops. Once the header ropes the steer around his neck or horns, he turns the steer to give you a good target. The steer begins a hopping motion with his feet as he struggles against your header's rope.
Step 5
Aim your loop at a point beneath the steer and in front of his back legs. The trick is to trap the steer in the rope, not catch the heels as he runs down the arena.
Step 6
Throw the loop out and away from the right side your body and not in front of your body. This motion casts the loop at your target on the ground. When you see the steer's feet jump into the loop, draw your slack immediately and dally the loose end of the rope around your saddle horn.

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