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Good Balance

by Ryan Davis on 08/31/15

August 2015


Summertime is upon us. It has been a hot and for many a wet summer. As the skies are bright and the warm temperatures are still out, many are looking forward and getting ready for what lies ahead on the team roping trail. Finals – Finals – Finals! From your local rodeo sanctioning body to the USTRC, World Series and NTRL Final events, the next few month will find many preparing for that chance to win big!

With the Fall months approaching and the chances of filling their pockets with a lot of cash at these events comes that time to really prepare. That means more time in the roping pen fine tuning every aspect of the sport of team roping. For many this is the time of year to make it or break it. However, is there such a thing as too much practice? Too much pressure on our horses?

We went to our friend Charles Pogue to see how to balance the time spent practicing versus the time spent outside the arena fence. Many ropers understand that too many runs can actually be detrimental to their horse and that is why a quality practice is often more important than the quantity.

“I think it is really important to ride your hoses outside the arena,” Charles said. “A guy can’t just rope on their horse all the time. I usually try to rope two to three times per week, run a few head and score a few, but I try to put a mile or two on my good horses every day.”

This may not seem like the right course of action when really wanting to be prepared. Practicing roping is what many believe will improve their skills, but to answer that Charles added, “In my experience my horses seem to be in better shape when they are rode outside and they feel more like performing when I do rope.”

For many, time is an issue. Full-time jobs often get in the way of quality roping practice and every minute spent in the arena seems to be quality time practicing for those big events.

“I understand many guys have jobs and don’t have the time to do as much as others,” added Charles. “They want to get home and rope, but I feel it is worthwhile for them to trade a little bit of time in the arena with time just in the saddle. I also believe that keeping your horse in shape will help them avoid injury when they compete.”

We continued with Charles on what to watch for in order to notice if we are putting too much pressure on our horses inside the arena?

“If they start not wanting to score, seem to be on the muscle or just not working, I would say they are needing a break,” Charles answered. “Good exercise outside the arena will help take the edge off. It allows the horse to relax.”

Charles also added a few tips for those who may not have enough time in the day to keep their horses in shape.

“I always suggest to those who don’t have the time to exercise their horses daily to at least turn them out into a pasture if you can,” he said. “Let them work out any soreness on their own. They will get more exercise that way than just standing in a stall all day.”

So as the big events start coming into view, be sure to keep a good balance between practice and conditioning. Keep your horses exercised and ready for competition with a solid schedule of both inside and outside the roping pen.

Be sure to tune into TotalTeamRoping.com for more tips from Charles and the rest of the TTR pros. They are adding more and more videos from more past and current top ropers each month. Pick up a tip that can and will give you that edge to be among some of this year’s biggest winners.

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