Maximizing My Practice on the GTS

When I'm getting ready to practice my neck shot on the GTS, there are a few specific things I'm focusing on during my practice. Every time I pick up my rope, I want things to be sharp and snappy, so roping a realistic looking and feeling dummy is Step One. Below, I've broken down the small details that I'm thinking about as I practice.

When I'm setting up my neck shot, I always tuck the tail of my rope in my belt to simulate the same feel as the rope being tied to the saddle horn. I also tuck the tip of the rope under my arm to get it prepared for a clean first swing.

Every practice, I change up my distances. Sometimes I practice long scores, while other times I practice short scores. To do this, I stand father away or closer to the dummy to simulate taking more or less swings.

I stand about one step to the right of the dummy when I start, to simulate coming out of the right hand box. Then when I take my first swing, I pretends like I'm crossing over to get behind or to the left hip of the calf.

I'm focused on making every swing go across my target (the shoulders), and I want my first swing to be just like my last. Rope speed needs to be consistent through my run. When I'm roping the GTS, I'm picturing myself riding my horse into position. The point of that is to create confidence for when I rope horseback, and it makes the end goal closer and more realistic.

The Delivery

The shoulder is everything. It’s the target for my swings, and its where I'm looking as I swing and deliver. When I deliver, I throw to the shoulder.

When I deliver, I want my right hand to be at a 45 degree angle, pointed to the shoulder.

My left hand needs to come forward and extend along with my right hand in the delivery so that I don’t pull my horse left or right. That way I'm still encouraging my horse to run through my throw. It also makes it easier to find my rope when I pull my slack.

Once I deliver, I let the rope hit the shoulder and create a figure-eight. I let it curl up and over the back, then I pull my slack. I practice this because it creates good timing to prepare my horse for the stop. It also ensures that I have a clean neck catch because I'm not taking the action out of the rope before the figure-eight is created.

Once I pull my slack, I want the rope to be tight on the neck. I make an effort to throw my slack up high, then I make the decision to either let it go or hang onto it. Either way, I'm going to place it inside the left hip or inside the right hip. If I hang onto it, I either crack it to the left or crack it to the right.

I take my GTS with me to all the rodeos, and I practice on it regularly at home. I hope these pictures and notes will be helpful to you the next time you go to rope your GTS! If you have any questions, you can find me on Facebook at Send me a message and I will help you in any way I can.

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