Breaking in your new team ropes is essential before you head to your next competition. You need to be able to depend on your rope for consistent performance, and one way to ensure that you have a quality rope is to break it in properly.
Know What You’re Looking For
Are you working with a head rope or a heel rope? Deciding on which team ropes you should work with and use in competition will depend largely on your skill and the role you’re going to play on your team.
If you’re breaking in a head rope, you will most likely be looking for a rope that’s stiff enough to maintain its loop and capture the animal. If you’re breaking in a heel rope, you will want to improve its flexibility so it can be easily thrown between the animal’s feet and the ground.
Test the Feel
Team ropes fresh out of the packaging are often stiff. Manufacturers wrap and store team ropes as soon as they make them, and this can stiffen the rope’s fibers and make it unyielding and inflexible. Take your rope out of the packaging and give it a few practice throws at a fence post or a dummy. This will help you determine what changes you will be looking to achieve through the break-in process.
Stretch for Flexibility
To improve flexibility, attach one end of the rope to a post and the other to your saddle horn. Back your horse up until the rope is stretched tight and hold it in position for a few minutes. Test the rope after every stretching session until it’s at the desired flexibility. You may have to repeat the stretching process more than a few times until you achieve the feel you prefer.
Powder for Slickness
Coat the entire length of the rope in baby powder. Rub it into the nooks and crevices. When ropes are fully coated with powder, it keeps them slick and improves quick performance.
Practice Regularly, Store Correctly
Once you’ve stretched and powdered your rope, make sure you’re practicing with it daily. The more familiar you are with how it feels, how it throws and how it handles, the more confident you’ll be when you take it out to use it.
Once you’re done practicing for the day, make sure you wipe the mud and dirt off your rope. Coat it with powder, tap off the excess, coil it up and store it in a bag designed for team ropes.
Looking to purchase a new, quality set of team ropes? Check out the selection at Frontier Trailers & Roping Supply when you visit their Spanish Fork store, or view the wide range of products online and enjoy free shipping throughout Utah.