How to Become a Team Roper

Team roping is one of the many contests and events that take place at a rodeo. In team roping, a team of two riders atop horses attempt to rope one calf – the clock stops when one rider manages to rope the calf’s head, and the other ropes the calf’s rear legs. While it might be fun to watch at a rodeo, becoming a team roper isn’t that easy, and requires a great deal of effort and practice.


  • 1

    To begin, attend a couple of local rodeos and watch the team roping events. Observe and learn carefully as you watch how the team begins, executes, and finishes the procedure of roping the calf. Watching expert teams in action will not only give you a burst of inspiration, it will also provide you a great opportunity to pick up tips and learn as you watch how the pros do it.

  • 2

    After watching some live action, upload team roping videos on your PC or laptop, and study these carefully – feel free to pause, rewind, and replay. Through these videos, you will learn how to properly throw the lasso, and how to rope a calf.

  • 3

    You have to choose whether you want to be a heeler, or a header.  The rider who is in charge of roping a calf around the head is called the header. This task can be done in three ways - around one horn and the head, around both horns, or around the entire neck. The rider in charge of roping a calf’s legs is known as a heeler, and this involves getting the rope around both of the rear legs of a calf. While you could just switch from one position to another, it is best to work at becoming a skilled expert at one particular position.

  • 4

    Once you have decided what position you want to take, look for a team member who can fill in the other position, and complete your team. This should be a roper who is good at what s/he does, has a good horse, and is dedicated. You will also need to select a team member you get along with, as both of you will be spending a lot of time together for training, and travelling to rodeo shows together.

  • 5

    After the team is all set, purchase a good roping horse for yourself. This should be a horse that is trained particularly for team roping, and knows how to conduct itself in the arena. A good roping horse is essential if you plan to take up team roping seriously, so look carefully, and invest in the best you can find.

  • 6

    Finally, now that you are equipped with a good partner and a good horse, it is time to join a team roping club, and start participating in small events, to begin training with your team and building your skills. Not only will you gain experience, you will also meet new ropers, many of whom may be able to give you pointers, or link you up to bigger and better team roping competitions.

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