The Start in Breakaway Roping

Knowing your horse, and having a good connection is a huge key in and out of the arena. Knowing how they will react to certain rodeo set-ups can help you get a good edge on the competition as well. Every rodeo arena is different and the roping boxes are never the same. They have the scores set at different lengths everywhere you go, so it is never the same run every time. You may go to four rodeos in a row, and some places you have to score the calves out far and run to them, and some you can roll right with them and be fast. Being able to read the start and read cattle is very important. How your horse feels in the box is something that is very important as well, to make sure that you have the best opportunity to make a good run on any type of set up and all types of calves.


Scoring cattle in the practice pen has helped me a lot at the rodeos. The better my horse scores, the easier it is for me to read the start and get out good. If I can trust that she is going to stand there until I drop my hand to go, then I can really focus on seeing my start. The start is everything. If you push it and get out good you can give yourself a good chance to make a nice run and win some money. At most of these rodeos you have to be right on it to be in the money because it gets fast. The breakaway roping is the fastest event in rodeo.


Sometimes if you don’t see your start how you should, you will either break out, or you’ll have to pull on your horse across the line and that gets you out of time with your horse and a little behind. It still works sometimes, but it is much more smooth and snappy when you see your start and go hard. It’s all about knowing your horse, and how hard they start and how much you can see to get out perfect and try to capitalize on whatever kind of calf you draw. Then you can try your best to place on the bad calves, and win on the good ones.


Score. Ride. Rope.

-Chelsey Bushnell

August 5, 2017

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published