Even if you have never picked a rope or your horse has never seen a steer, you can always start whenever and get with it like a pro. ROBBLAKEMAN guides you on how to do it.
While you want to learn how to lasso a cow, we advise that you learn using a dummy as opposed to a live cow.
Start on the ground
While much of the lasso is done from atop a saddle, we recommend that you start from the ground. To start, get yourself a roping dummy head and place it on a bale of hay or straw. The best of these is the Turn Loose Head, which flips up with a tug on the rope once caught and releases the rope, which saves you on walking up to and dismounting the rope each time before going for another tug.
The great thing about starting from the ground is building muscle memory, which will help your body perform the necessary drills on reflex cutting you on the trouble of swinging empty.
Get a rope that feels good for you on your hands, and you can easily swing. Headers use a softer rope while heelers use a stiffer rope. A good lasso rope is one made for heading.
While standing, let the tail hand a little above the ground on your left while not touching it, then make several coils of rope to hold in your left hand. To make the loop, take the Honda in your right and feed the rope through it. Use the rope to steer the loop.
While standing behind the dummy, practice the rope’s swing above your head, keeping the coil in your left hand while your right holds onto the loop’s bottom. Stand fairly close to the dummy. While atop a horse, standing close to your target before you lasso it will ensure your horse will not get caught in the rope, therefore guaranteeing your safety.
Try swinging your rope as smoothly as possible while keeping the tip of the loop swinging over the top of the horns. Loosen up your right hand to keep the loop flat and maintain the angle, and do not make for a loop parallel to the round as the horns are lower than you are. Try making a 45-degree angle loop instead that is close to your head and horns. Try three or four hulla-hoops before laying the rope onto the horns and tighten the open on the horns.
While you might have mastered the lasso technique, there are three more drills to do before you get onto the horse.
Get behind the dummy and have a friend say “go,” then start the rope and lay it over the horns at the second swing. Keep at it till you are consistent enough at catching the horns.
You will now be ready for the third and toughest drill.
Step farther away from the dummy, then with your feet together, try laying the rope over the horn again. When your friend says “go,” take a step forward while swinging your rope and try lasso-ing the horse at two swings and pull the slack. If you are successful, you are on the right track.
By swinging while moving your feet, you are teaching yourself an important skill that will be useful when you are atop a horse.
Swinging with your horse
If you make it this far, it is time to bring in your horse. Ensure that it is comfortable around your dummy before you get on top of it and won’t bolt away if you’re using a mechanical dummy. You should ensure that the horse is also comfortable with you swinging a rope over him and will not be surprised when the rope touches him.
Start with learning how to rope on top of your horse while it is standing still, then graduate to a walk and a trot before roping at a lope.
Now, walk the horse till you are at the spot you were roping from while behind the dummy and swing the rope over your head at a smooth and consistent angle. Try laying the rope across the horns and pull your slack.
Keep on at it till you are consistent at it and try it with the horse in increasing motion till you can lay while it is running. You can now try it with a live animal and know the next event schedule because you are ready. Now that you can lasso your way into any live rodeo event, I am sure you will not want to miss the NFR, and if you are wondering what channel is the NFR on TV.