December 08, 2008 | | Comments 0

Roping Horses

A Beginners Guide To Roping Horses

The Wild West reminds us of many things like cowboys, broncs, ranchers, cattle, horses and roping! Cowboys and their horses paint a picture that is particularly unique in our Western History. Aside from branding, working the ranch, and checking fence, riders out on the field also like to rope their next calf. Thus, roping horses hold a special place not only at ranches but also now in modern competitions.

Roping Horse

Roping Horse

Calf roping is known by many people to be the ultimate test of a horse’s cow work skills and experience. This is due to the fact that roping calls for the highest level of partnership between the rider and his horse. The horse must stay facing right ahead toward the calf constantly! In calf roping, riding good roping horses is a must just as in ranch work, and this is enhanced by the intuitive partnership that progresses between the rider and his horse, who have to both move persistently as a single entity with one goal. In this case, roping horses need to be as clever and willing as their riders.

Quarter Horse

There are several kinds of roping horses available today. The quarter horse could definitely make a good roping horse. As the quarter horse breed continued to increase in popularity, its temperate character resulted in it being used as a riding horse. Their strength proved them to be very good riding horses as well as “work” horses that can do all sorts of tasks in several of the early farms. The breed appeared to have a natural ability for working with cattle, too. When settlers started raiding west in the 1800s, the quarter horse breed was the horse of preference of the first cowboys. Quarter horse breeds were being trained to help round up cattle, as they were quick and nimble. Soon cowboys started using this breed more and more for everyday tasks on cattle ranches. Just like with many other activities conducted by the early cowboys, the tasks done by them and their horses eventually shifted into a contest, building the foundation of rodeo riding. Quarter horses had become excellent roping horses, as they performed barrel racing and team roping. These days, quarter horses are still well sought after for these affairs.

Andalusian Roping Horses

Andalusian horses have also been known to be great roping horses. Andalusian is the term coined in the United States and other countries for the breed referred to as “Pura Raza Espanõla”, which means “The Spanish Horse.” This name is attached to horses who have succeeded the strict Spanish prerequisites for documented bloodline and conformation. Andalusian horses today are admired all over the world for their versatility and set of highly desirable traits, which include athleticism, endurance, agility, lightness, trainability and willingness, intelligence, courage, gentle disposition and loyalty. These horses can work in bullrings, dressage arenas and cattle ranches of Spain (and other parts of the world) as roping horses.
When conditioning roping horses, there is no easy answer. There are several things to think about first. For instance, elements such as age, level of training and current musculoskeletal issues should all be evaluated in creating an individual scheme.

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