Pushing the Barrier by Speed Williams – May 2014


Pushing the Barrier by Speed Williams – May 2014

Utilizing One Of The Best Tools For Improving Your Roping

In the ten years I’ve been with Hot Heels there is no telling how many people have asked me if a mechanical dummy is the same as roping steers. My answer is always, without a doubt, absolutely not.

There is not a machine made that is the same as roping live steers, nor will there be one. There are too many variables with live cattle. Steers may be fast, slow, old, small, big, fresh, short horns, long horns, etc. You never really know what you’ll draw when you pull up to a roping.

Mechanical dummies are built as a training tool to help you rope live steers better. The beauty of utilizing mechanical dummies is you can simulate any type of steer or run you choose. It’s much easier to isolate and focus on the problems you and your horse are having.

Have you ever found yourself with a head horse that gets strong in the bridle and all he wants to do is run? Or, as a heeler, when your header throws his rope, your heel horse cuts the corner and shoulders in? These are problems that can be fixed in a controlled manner using a mechanical dummy. The variables associated with live cattle make isolating problems very difficult.

Now days I mostly teach private schools from one person to a maximum of two teams. We start by practicing scenarios of high team runs. Then we go inside and watch video of that practice. We are able to break it down in detail and discuss how to eliminate the mistakes causing the most problems. I’m a very fundamental guy who believes you must be able to do it perfectly going slowly before you can be consistent going fast.

Being able to control your horse is one of the most common problems. People tend to use the bridle reins for balance. This creates a mixed signal to your horse. If you drive a car with your foot on both the accelerator and the brakes, it won’t take long before your brakes need adjusting.

Being able to use the Hot Heels at a walk, trot, or lope gives you time to make sure your horse is doing all the little steps correctly. Making this a habit before you ever rope steers in the practice pen is very beneficial. The results can be truly amazing.

At my house we use the Hot Heels every day. My mom, my wife, and my daughter all heel. It helps to rope the machine and work out the kinks before we start roping steers. I will also make deals with my kids where they have to rope the machine a certain amount of times before they get to chase steers.

If you can control your horse in the practice pen, your odds of winning when you leave home are much greater. It’s all about being prepared for and overcoming any obstacles you may encounter when you leave home.


What’s new with me: Gabe has been playing baseball and Hali has been in gymnastics, but they’ve both been roping as well. Gabe has graduated to roping from a big horse and Hali has pretty much been trying to claim every horse on the place. She’s making a good hand and can head, heel, or do whatever we need her to do. She was matching the other day and I put up $100 if she could rope the Hot Heels on the first hop. Needless to say, I lost the $100.

Feel free to visit speedroping.com where we have videos about using the Hot Heels in order to ride your horse in position to rope your steer on the first hop.


April 16, 2014 |

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