There’s been a huge upsurge in ranch versatility participation recently. Ranch versatility training and competitions are such a great way to incorporate a wide range of skills into your riding and your horse’s training programs. One of the events often included is roping. You may be new to roping and perhaps struggling with safety issues. Today we’re visiting with AQHA and NRCHA judge and professional horse trainer Bozo Rogers as he explains and demonstrates some very important safety issues when it comes to carrying and managing your rope horseback. Follow along closely to see these potentially life-saving safety tips.
One of the most important safety concerns when carrying ropes horseback is the design & quality of your rope strap. Although it may seem counter-intuitive you want to be sure to use a rope strap that’s designed and built to break when pressure is applied. That way, if your horse falls or bucks you off and you get hung up in your rope that strap will break and you’ll be clear of your horse. “I use a strap that’s narrow right where it goes around the saddle horn so that strap will break there if I’m hung up in my rope” says Bozo.
To attach a rope strap wrap the end with the short slit around your saddle swell on the side you rope from and put the other end of the strap through the short slit. Slide the free end under your rope loops and wrap it 2 or 3 times around your rope coming toward you. Now slide end under the length of rope you attached to your swell and then put the long slit up over your horn. “If you’re running down the fence and your rope is flopping the strap shouldn’t come off your horn if you’ve run it under the part of the strap that’s attached to your swell before putting it over the horn” Bozo says.
“If you have a habit of building a big loop in your rope so you’re ready to rope before you tie your rope to your saddle this is very dangerous” Bozo says. “You can get your foot through that loop and if you come off or your horse bucks you off you are tied to your horse. This can get you dragged to death. It’s OK to have a slightly bigger loop but never build a loop that’s big enough to get your foot through when your rope is tied to your saddle” says Bozo.
Another dangerous method of carrying your rope and one you want to always avoid is tying your rope to the back of your saddle. This is especially dangerous when tied to the same side as the foot you throw over to get off. Most of the time that’s your right foot but we know we want our horses to be broke so we can get on and off either side. It’s just best never to tie your rope to the back of your saddle. “When you swing your foot over to get off that foot can go right through those loops. If your horse spooks and jumps sideways you’ll be hung underneath your horse. If I need to carry 2 ropes I always just get a 2nd rope strap and tie both ropes on in front of me. I tie one on each side on the front of the saddle” Bozo says. “It’s the safest way to carry more than 1 rope.”
Dennis Moreland Tack builds handmade rope straps that are designed to break when pressure is applied. These straps are made of latigo leather. If you have any questions call 817-312-5305.
We’re a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!