Getting Your Shot :
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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!

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