Post written by Jordan Sanders, Regional Sales Manager – Midwest
I was fortunate enough to grow up around horses and compete in team roping jackpots and rodeos, and I continue to do so today.
I learned this hobby by spending many, many hours in the barn roping the steer horns on a bale of hay, and running countless steers in the practice arena.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned through rodeo was how to see something from a different perspective… my horse’s.
A good horse is a crucial part of having success in the team roping arena. Some say it’s 90% of how successful you are! In my early days of roping, I would get my horses saddled and go to the arena and rope as many steers as I could in one day.
That’s what all of my buddies and I did. And that’s how we got better. As the days went by and the steers got roped, my roping was improving but my horses weren’t progressing as I’d hoped.
When first faced with the dilemma of how I was personally getting better at roping, but my horses weren’t keeping pace, I was a bit frustrated.
It was easy to blame them for not picking it up quickly or not being cooperative with me, but after a bit of reflection I came up with what turned out to be the real issue…
I was expecting my horses to know what to do and how to get better on their own.
I wasn’t communicating very well on what I wanted them to do. I’m not talking about whispering in their ears or telling them anything verbally. I’m talking about using the bridle reins better, using my feet to better guide the horse where I want him, and being able to let the horse have fun at roping and instead of making it feel like work.
In essence, I needed to think more from the horse’s perspective on roping rather than my own.
After putting myself in my horses’ shoes (so to speak) and using some better riding form, I found that their performance enhanced quite rapidly. I was communicating in a way that made my horses’ job easier and, in turn, made roping easier for me. This was a pleasant surprise and really took my roping to the next level!
This is a lesson from the roping arena that I’ve been able to incorporate into my everyday life.
Sometimes I find myself wondering why a situation isn’t progressing as planned, or I get confused by someone’s tactics. More often than not, it’s because I’m only looking at the situation from my perspective, which is how I looked at roping when my horses weren’t progressing.
By putting myself in someone else’s shoes and looking at a situation from their point of view, it’s much easier to work together knowing where they’re coming from.
So the next time you hit a snag in a certain situation, try instead looking at it from a different perspective. It will make all the difference.