Try Tying-On: Part 1

AQHA Professional Horseman Jay Holmes thinks tying-on is a good option for many ropers.

This is the first in a two-part series.

To AQHA Professional Horseman Jay Holmes of Sarasota, Florida, deciding to tie-on in the heeling isn’t about how good someone is or isn’t as a roper. It’s about making roping fun for a competitor. Tying-on can be a practical way to do that.

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“People who don’t rope a lot are better off tying-on in the heeling,” Jay says. “For one thing, their hands might not be used to the roughness.”

“When you dally in the heeling, your horse is stopped but the steer is still moving, and the rope has to slide through your hands,” he explains. “Someone who ropes all the time is used to doing that, and their hands are rough.”

People who work indoors might not be used to running the rope through their hands. More importantly, people who don’t rope a lot also might not have the quick reflexes needed for a good dally. Tied-on, that person could compete and enjoy roping more, rather than worrying about dallying.

“A person might have a really good horse that stops when they throw the rope, but they aren’t fast with the rope,” Jay says. “It’s easier for them to tie-on – they can guide the rope in a little bit more and not worry about dallying.

“When you dally, you have to turn loose of the rope and grab it again, but when you’re tied on, you do not have to turn loose of the top strand of your rope,” he says. “You can hold one strand of your rope the whole time you rope.”

He also recommends tying-on for people who need to protect their hands, like surgeons who rely on their hands to make a living or older competitors whose reflexes simply aren’t what they were in the past – especially if tying-on keeps them competing.

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