What is Ranch Roping?
Ranch roping is a return to the practical working skills of the cowboy. Proliferated by working Vaqueros and Buckaroos from the
pictured above: Mike Baker riding Alads Painted Desert at the heels, Gavin Baker on the ground with a "paint brand" to mark the cow
Why do we like Ranch Roping at Cedar Hill?
For so many reasons it is hard to list them all, but here are the top reasons:
#1 - The first focus of Ranch Roping is good horsemanship followed by good treatment of the cows (just like real working cowboys do). Rodeo roping is focused on one thing only – getting the fastest time.
#2 - Ranch Roping provides an environment that is low stress and low impact for both the horses and the cows. This is herd work, just like the job that real working cowboys do. While the Rodeo industry has morphed roping into a high-speed, commercialized competition (which is still fun to watch), it is not always practical for daily use on the ranch. The fact is it is generally considered bad to run cows at high speed. There is an old cowboy saying “The only way to drive cattle fast...is slowly”. But make no mistake – Ranch Roping still gets very exciting. Working in a live herd presents an entirely different set of challenges than chasing a single cow down the arena.
#3 - Ranch Roping is preserving the nearly-lost art of the rope. It is part of our Western heritage that we want to preserve. Vaqueros and Buckaroos are truly artists, not only with the hand-crafted gear that they use, the stories they tell and the songs they sing, but also in the magic they make with a rope. While Rodeo ropers only throw a few types of loops (for heading and healing), Ranch Ropers have over twenty defined types of loops enabling them to catch any cow at any angle from their horse…and at distances you might not think possible.
We hope you will join us in supporting the preservation of our Western Heritage and maintaining the arts of the Cowboy, Vaquero and Buckaroo.
Cowboys at work at Cedar Hill's Open Cattle Night 2013