Ask the Pros--Practice Aids

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Dear Logan,
I am a No. 2 header. Do you think it is better to practice on a mechanical steer more than live steers? If so, how often would you rope the mechanical steer over live steers? If not, how would you set up a practice for a low number roper? My horses seem to work pretty well on both and I don't seem to have any major problems as of yet. I am just trying to figure out the best way to practice for me and my horses. I only have about 2 to 3 hours a day to practice.

Thanks,
Dale, Ulm, Mont.

Dear Dale,
I think a person should rope the Hot Heels first because you can control it. When I practice, we slow everything down and rope the mechanical steer about 15 times and can kind of get in sync and get your horse in a rhythm. Then you can utilize live steers. I use both. I like it that way so everything's working better that way instead of going right to live cattle. If I'm having trouble, I go to a mechanical steer and slow it down and figure out the problems. But you have to practice on live cattle, too, so you can keep your edge on reading cattle.

Sincerely,
Logan Olson