Rattler Rope asked Kelsie Chace what she thought separates good from great inside of the arena. Her response was no surprise.
Horsemanship…this can make or break you. I see a lot of kids that can rope really, really well. But I don’t see a lot of kids that ride their horses well. Horsemanship is something that I work on every single day, but too many people overlook it and only focus on the roping part. Are you confident in your horse every time that you back in the box? Roping is hard enough as it is, so I want to make sure I keep it as simple as I can, and to do that I have to have great horses, and keep them that way. Get help with your horsemanship. Learn how to ride your horse better, and practice it. If you can’t do something right in the practice pen, you can’t expect to go and do it right when your money is up. Don’t cheat yourself; learn how to ride and rope in every situation, not just the ones that are easy for you. Take the time to be a good horseman/woman and your roping will only get better. Never stop learning and enjoy the process!!
We asked Rattler Rope athlete, Billie Jack Saebens, what advice he could offer to a high school version of himself. This is what he had to say:
If I could give advice to a high school version of myself, I would say respect your horse. If you have a great one, treat him like it, and come to realize they won’t be around forever. It’s easy to take a good horse for granted and run too many on them, or not to take all the steps to care for them at the level they need to be cared for. Don’t wait until you’re without that great horse to come to these realizations.
If you don’t have a good horse, do everything in your power to get one. Horses are everything especially nowadays when everyone ropes so good, the great horses easily separate themselves from the good horses. Take the time to learn how to keep them healthy, sound, and working. It will pay off greatly in the long run if you’re going into the rodeo business. There are guys that rope good around every corner, but there aren’t as many people making good horses. They are fewer and farther between than ever, so take the time to learn the horsemanship to make one or keep the one you have working.
The guys that have long successful careers are the ones that can keep the good horses.