Team roping is one of the most loved events at the PRCA. It is also the one true team event in ProRodeo, and emerge victoriously or impress; it requires great cooperation and precision timing between the two participating ropers- a header and a heeler – and their horses. ROBBLAKEMAN Training center teaches how to learn team roping for beginners.
Team roping originated from ranches and is useful for cowboys when they need to treat or brand the large steers. Being a difficult task for one man, at least two people were needed to do this, and from there, the sport was invented.
The two major keys for success in team roping are; hard work and endless practice. The roping partners need perfect timing not only as individuals but with their horses as well.
Step by Step Roping
Just like tie-down ropers and steer wrestlers, they start from the boxes on each side of the chute, which serves as entry points for steers into the arena. Depending on the length of the arena, the steer will get a head start once off the chute.
New ropers ought to learn from team ropers like Joe Beaver and Travis Tryan, who often spend long hours working on the craft with their horses. While roping, one end of a breakaway barrier is attached to the steer and s stretched across the header’s box open end. The barrier is released when the steer is at its point of advantage and is pursued by the header with the heeler some few steps behind. If the header happens to break the barrier before the steer has completed his head start, the ropers receive a 10-second penalty, and it is because of this that some rodeos prefer to use heeler barriers.
When playing, the header is allowed three legal catches and makes one on the steer while roping. The catch is made around both horns, around one horn and the head or around the neck. Any other catch except these is considered illegal and will lead to the team’s disqualification. Once the header has made his catch, he turns the steer to the left, exposing its hind legs to the heeler, who then attempts to rope them. If he succeeds in only catching one foot, the team is given a 5-second penalty. Once the team has caught the steer, the clock is stopped being no slack in their ropes, and their horses will face one another.
Another important rule is on the type of horses allowed in the event. The American quarter horse has, for years, been the most popular for team ropers as heading horses are taller and heavier, which gives them the needed power to turn the steer once it is roped. Heeling horses need to be quick and agile, letting them follow the steer and react to its moves in a good time. This was why we highlighted the importance of timing while participating in the event. And with the right horse, you will have all the right timing you need.
Remember that the greatest and most prolific team ropers will be participating at the NFR later on in the year, and to catch all the fun, be sure to watch NFR 2020 online.