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Winter Feeding

by Ryan Davis on 11/04/15

Total Team Roping

This month we thought we would jump to a different section for this article and head down the path of feeding your equine partner. With Total Equine as a proud sponsor of Total Team Roping, we headed towards the source and the man behind the feed that so many of today’s top rodeo athletes are feeding their horses. Dr. Barry Anderson developed Total Equine Feed after 20 years of studying and feeding horses a properly nutrient diet. Total Equine feed ensures that the horse receives specific ingredients that they need to maximize health, attitude and performance.


We caught up to Dr. Anderson with a question that horse owners should be asking themselves around this time of year. He was happy to answer the question to: “As winter approaches, what, if anything should horse owners do to their feeding program?”

“There are several things horse owners should consider and prepare for throughout the winter months,” said Anderson. “To begin have your hay tested before winter. Knowing the nutrients in your forage will help you set up a feeding program. You may need to alter your feeding and knowing this can also save you money.”

Anderson went on to talk about another very important factor when it comes to feeding horses throughout the winter.


“You want to make sure to winterize your water supply and avoid any interruptions. If your horse has a restricted water intake they will not consume their feed properly and this may cut back on the energy they need throughout the winter months. If horses have access to clean, fresh water they will eat and forage better, providing them the energy they need.”

Reaching into a more in depth approach to feeding horses in the winter, Anderson continued.

“You need to limit the amount of starchy feed to your horses throughout the winter. Create a feeding program that helps the horse digest hay. You want to receive the maximum amount of fermentation in order for the horse to provide body heat. Fiber from hay will fermentation much better than starchy feeds.”

Anderson also included that horse owners should begin a proper feeding program prior to the winter months in order to prepare the horse for the colder weather.


“Provide quality feed that will help your horse grow a good winter coat. Long shaggy hair is not ideal and a horse should have a good, condense, thick coat of hair for the winter.”

Anderson also added.

“While on the subject, I also want to talk about something that is somewhat controversial. That is the use of blankets on horses in the winter. It is important that you only blanket a horse during the most extreme winter conditions or when hauling them in the winter. Always remove the blankets in the day. Leaving a horse blanketed for long periods of time will discourage hair growth and the quality of hair the horse will grow.”

We want to thank Dr. Harry Anderson for his insight on preparing horses for the winter months and feeding tips when the weather turns cold. Be sure to check out throughout the winter. It is a great time to pick up a lot of tips and tricks you can take to the practice pen and use at the next event. Be sure to also check out The Roping Pen Website and get a great deal on a membership. For only $19.95 you can receive a limited TTR membership and check out what many other ropers are watching.

Getting Your Shot

by Ryan Davis on 09/29/15

Ceasr De La CruzCesar De La Cruz   

Imagine you are heeling and left the chute a bit late. Your header has a clean break at the barrier and the steer is moving across the front of your horse towards the wall. You’re stuck, having to slow up to give your header a shot at the horns up against the right fence. The headers loop is on mark and he turns the corner leaving you behind. What can you do?

Or think about this scenario. You are heeling again and in the short round in great position. Any kind of a clean catch puts you in the money. Your header’s loop is not clean around the horns and he fishes it and drops the loop over then nose of the steer. By now the steer is running hard and your header ducks left. You know the handle is not going to be the best. Should you dive into the corner or hold out and let the steer line out before you go in for the kill?

We threw these two questions to one of the best heelers in the business this month at Cesar De La Cruz has been a consistent champion over the past several years and has won money at every level of competition.

“To answer the first question of missing your haze and getting beat to the fence, you need to let your header get a hold of the steer before you make your move. It might cost you a couple hops, but you can get a better and more consistent shot if you do. You need to get behind the steer again, wait for the steer to take a couple hops and straighten out. Don’t try to sacrifice being fast and go for a 2-foot catch.”

Cesar continued and had more to say concerning the second question.

“There are a lot of things that can happen causing a header to make a whole head catch. Heelers need to be patient when this happens. A heeler should stay wider to give themselves more opportunity. Do not get in the corner too tight or fast, try to keep the steer out in front of you. A heeler has to be very patient in these situations and give more room for better position.”

Cesar added, “The worst thing a heeler can do is panic or try to be fast in either of these situations. At a World Series event or the USTRC Finals that is coming up, just get em caught and go for the average money. There is a lot paid out even down the average, so don’t get caught up in being fast, just be patient and get em caught.”

We appreciate Cesar taking the time to talk to us and would like to invite everyone to take the opportunity to take advantage of a great deal at and The Roping Pen. Head to, click on the Total Team Roping Link and get a monthly subscription to for only $19.95 per month. Improve your roping with all of the great team roping tips at at a great rebate!

No Wave… No More!

by Ryan Davis on 08/31/15

September 2015

No Wave… No More!

An often missed head shot is not one that sails past the horns, a loop that falls short of its intended target or one that misses to the left or right. Often for most headers who have been roping for a while the most common form of a missed head loop is one that sails well, seems like it will settle nicely around the base of the horns, but does not stay there and instead fails to stay secure. Known as the “wave-off,” it is dreaded among headers. The wave-off is very common among amateur ropers. Many fear it and search for ways to cure its diseased effect.

This month we went to Bret Beach at to see what he had to say about head loops that sail off their intended targets. He had plenty to state on the subject and admitted that he probably could not fit all of the reasons in a single article. With that in mind, he headed straight to the top of the list and gave us some insight as to why ropers wave it off and what to do to avoid this problem.

“One of the problems is that steers don’t usually have a good set of horns like they used to,” said Bret. “These shorter horned cattle make the problem worse. To fix not waving it off though a header needs to begin by throwing a better loop. If you throw a good loop you decrease your chances of waving it off.”

Bret said he watched ropers who often wave it off and they do different things to try to compensate for it.

“To begin, it is a misconception that the way a header pulls his slack causes the loop to wave off. Many believe that by pulling their slack out to the side (to the right) causes a wave-off. It is not created by the way you pull your slack, but most of the time caused by a poor loop to begin with,” Bret said. “If they fix their swing and delivery to have a better loop, they could pull their slack straight back, to the side or even straight up like a heeler and the loop will stay secure.”

Bret had a little more to say on what headers try to do in order to avoid waving it off the horns and why in many cases their attempt to rope better does more harm then good.

“I also see headers try to use a smaller loop in order to avoid waving it off,” he added. “These guys still wave it off and a smaller loop causes more problems, such as, one they lose their range. Also, a smaller loop stiffens the rope up. The affect of a smaller loop is that it hits the left shoulder of the steer and opens up and pops off even quicker. I suggest using a regular sized loop and work on the mechanics of roping the horns correctly.”

In order to avoid a wave-off Bret explained a few things to try.

“To begin, like I said before, work on a better loop,” Bret said. “You must also pull your slack at the right time. The timing of pulling your slack is critical. I see a lot of headers who are too slow on pulling their slack and it causes a wave-off. As soon as the curl hits the shoulder slam it shut. You can’t be late.”

Like every header, Bret works on his loop and delivery in order to not wave it off.

“When I back in the box, especially when there is money on the line and I see a smaller-horned steer I know I need to lower my chances of waving it off,” he said. “I raise my hand a little, get my tip down and really try to rope the horns deep, get more skull in the loop and rope them around the eyes. This will eliminate the wave-off most of the time. In some instances I will even go with a neck shot in order to make sure I make a solid catch.”

Like Bret said, there are many different factors that go into a header to trying to avoid a wave-off and you can find them all at There are hundreds of videos to watch from the pros and guest at the website and thousands of tips that you can take to the pay window of your next roping!