Freeze Frame with Cesar de la Cruz

Breaking down a run at the Tolani Lake Open Roping with Aaron Tsinigine
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Breaking down a run at the Tolani Lake Open Roping with Aaron Tsinigine

This was the Tolani Lake Open Roping, and I won second in the average with Aaron Tsinigine. This was the short round and we were fourth call back. It was a six header, and everything was really tight coming into the short round.

Setup

It’s a long score, and it requires a horse that can really run. You want to leave with your header at that roping, so you have to have a horse to keep up with the head horse. This dun has a lot of speed and he’s really athletic. For him to get up and around the steer the way he did, it was very impressive. He’s had a lot of cowboying work done on him with Colter, so he really can read a cow. So I’m blessed to have him. He was a present, and now he’s one of the best I’ve owned. I really like how smooth he is.

Tsinigine

Tsinigine got out really good and hung it on him really fast. He threw about three coils. I was really patient. We had to be fast and put a lot of heat on these guys, and Tsinigine did what he needed to do.

Body Position

When I sit down on my butt, my heeling isn’t very good. But when I’m up to the front of the saddle, I have balance in my stirrups.

Left Hand

My left hand is down just a little bit, with slack in the reins. I want to give my horse his head in the delivery so he can get down in his stop. When
I go for the dally, I’ll gather him back up. You can’t be pulling all the way around the corner. If his head is up in the air, he can’t get his hind end down.

Delivery

I’ve heard a few things on delivery. I hear people teach that you want to shake hands. I like to do with my fingers what I want my loop to do, so I turn my hand over to make my tip come through. The loop is the extension of your finger tips. This horse really helps me do that.

Muddy Waters

Joe Braman (of JB Quarter Horses) gave me that horse about seven years ago as a yearling. Joe was going to the rodeos, and I got to know him. He loved Johnny Ringo, and he told me he wanted me to ride one of his horses. His name is Muddy Waters. Colter Todd started him for me, and I had a few other people riding him. Two years ago, I started riding him a good bit more, and now he’s my number one. This last year, I’ve really been needing a number one, and he’s stepped up a lot. He’s 8, and I’ve put in a lot of work on him. It’s paying off. I’ve been winning on him every week at the jackpots or the rodeos. He’s a One Hot Jose colt, and that horse is no longer with us so there aren’t very many left. They’re really tough horses. The last few years, the heeling game has changed—you need a bigger, stronger, faster horse to get down the arena to take the jerk, and that’s exactly how Muddy is.

Patience

He’s really smooth, and he’s really fast, so when I’m early I get myself in a jam. If I’m really patient, he gets around the steer really well naturally. He works really cool that way.

Big Stop

In his stop, he’s very smooth and very free. He lets you put your bottom strand on the ground, but when you dally he’s very, very violent to the horn. He reminds me of Jackyl how he gets a hold of the steer because of how strong he is to the horn. That inside hind leg is on the ground. If you want your horse to slide, he’s got to have his weight on his inside hind leg so he can slide around the corner. That horse does that by himself. His front end is still moving forward, and that lets him slide a long way really easily.