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I think roping must be the most technically challenging thing one can do with a horse

They come out of a chute, running like hell to get away, and get roped round their neck/horns and stopped dead . That is not fun.

I’ve watched people ride their horses the same way yet I don’t complain about riding horses as a whole.

Roping cattle get trained like horses do and we take measures to keep them fresh like you would to not create an arena sour, show smart horse.

You can’t tell me that the cattle are enjoying having this happen to them time and again.

Again, you can say the same about horses. There’s a lot that get ridden the same way day after day, year after year.
At least with roping cattle they only get roped for one season, maybe two. It’s a short portion of their lives.

I’ve ran a lot of pastured cattle on the desert used for sport cattle. Most of the time they are eating green grass. They get sorted, loaded on a truck, shipped to a roping or cutting for a few days, shipped back, and put back on grass.

As an experiment one year we weighed the cattle before they went on the truck, weighed them when they came off (6 hour ride, if I remember right). Weighed them after being used for the show but before loading, then again when we offloaded them to ho back on pasture.
They shrunk more (lost weight) due to stress from the sorting, loading, trucking and unloading than the event itself.

Those same cattle that are getting used for sport still go to sale for meat or get bred. Abusing them doesn’t create a good meat or breeding animal.

ETA for clarification:
We have a contract obligation to fill at the end of the year. The cattle must reach a certain weight and usually the death loss is under 1% due to sickness, accidental and loss(ungathered or stolen).
If leasing them out for sport was not beneficial and caused us to not reach contract agreements, we wouldn’t do it nor would the owners agree to it.

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I’m sure that there a variety of metrics to use to determine stress. My only point is that I think that it is nasty. I don’t generally agree with you about the same being said for horses, at least not where I live.

I’m not saying all horses are ridden in a matter that causes a huge amount of stress. I agree, mostly the people I ride with/for, not the case. Going to other places watching other disciplines I witnessed more.

As far as cattle go regardless of breed, age, sex but especially calves, weaners, yearlings the biggest sign of stress is no weight gain to loss of weight. Physical or mental stress from an event, being worked through a chute or roped. Stress of any kind- too hot outside even if they are just grazing and can shade up in the willows along the river, not enough mineral, not enough or poor feed, etc. They quit gaining. They use weight in feedlots, it’s the universal and most reliable and best indicator of stress.

Even on Corrientes, a thin skinned, lighter framed breed, we expected at least one pound plus a day on grass. During the season we would gather for check weights and they could do that plus more.
Cattle that were stressed or sick would not.

I’m not trying to argue, I’m trying to educate.


Years ago, I sat in on a discussion about marketing equine sports. David O’Connor, then President of the USEF was there. He mentioned that when they film rodeo, they turn away from the “snap”, where the calf/steer, etc. gets it’s neck jerked back, and falls to the ground.

Clearly, it isn’t just me who sees this, and it isn’t a question of education. You have become numb to what is done. It’s acceptable to you. It isn’t acceptable to me, or to many other people, apparently.

I’m with ASB on this one. Let’s do it with weanling horses, if it’s A-OK and doesn’t cause damage.

No? Why not?

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I’ll open that can of worms.

Yes, you can if it’s done right and no damage.
Something to remember with roping horses due to their anatomy, which obviously is different than cattle- you can rope them around the neck but you front foot them rather than heel to prevent hurting them.

Would you volunteer your horse for a tripping event?

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Here is the problem and why I’m trying to educate. People who don’t know and have only watched videos claiming abuse don’t know anymore than that. They do not know the difference between a tripping event and roping properly(which I’ve been saying this whole thread). Yall want to lump roping into one category.

Would I volunteer my horses for a tripping, no.
But- all my horses have been roped and roped in the manner I described above. Not for sport but that’s how they got started. My horses are not hard to catch either, they meet me at the gate nor do they have crippling neck injuries or broken windpipes, etc. When I had a pile more horses, some boughten, some raised, some had been roped some hadn’t, you couldn’t tell the difference.


I understand what you’re saying, but you have to admit there’s a difference between the way an animal is roped on the ranch, and the way they’re roped in a timed event with money on the line.

I don’t have a problem with roping. I have a problem doing it with the goal of speed.


2:20 round abouts you finally get to see the calf when he hits the rope for a few runs in a row. Tell me that would happen on a ranch… no, because the goal isn’t to do it in ~6-7 seconds.

If this were being done with foals, there would be an absolute outcry.


I see what you’re saying as well but your statement isn’t exactly true. While them calves take a jerk, some of them harder than others. Having been to a lot of calf branding over the years from day work cowboying, I’ve been to some piss poor ones with poor ropers that have choked the air out of calves or broke windpipes on them. I don’t go back and work for those people if they call because I don’t tolerate it.
Like I said before, there is bad stockmanship in ranching and rodeo both.