Young Guns with Joe Beaver

8-Time World Champ Talks Growing Pains in Roping
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8-Time World Champ Talks Growing Pains in Roping

Eight-Time World Champion Joe Beaver—who has held an extensive clinic schedule for years—just launched a new Joe Beaver Junior Roping Association Big Four series. Beaver is hosting four ropings for all breakaway and tie-down ropers offering $16,000 in total prize money and a world champion buckle. More details are on his website joebeaver.com, as well as his 2014 school and camp schedule.

Credit: Dudley Barker

Credit: Dudley Barker

Learning and Winning
We all went through trial and error, and now, kids don’t have to do that. The first thing you need to do is find somebody that’ll help you. It takes that learning curve off. Nowadays it’s mostly junior and high school rodeos, and they’re great. But you’ve got to go to jackpots and mess up on one and still get a reward for not quitting. At every clinic I have, I tell my students, “Everybody is going to get beat, but you don’t lose. If you prepare yourself, you practice and you work at it, not winning just means you got beat, you didn’t lose.”

Parents, Listen Up
Don’t expect your kids to rope like you want them to unless they have a horse that makes it easy on them. You can’t over-mount them and you can’t under-mount them. If you’re going to exceed and excel in roping—either team roping or tie-down roping—it has a whole lot to do with horseflesh. If your horse starts going south, take him back to wherever you bought him or someone local who can help you get him fixed. Most kids aren’t horsemen. They’re just ropers. You take that horse somewhere and pay to get him fixed. Your other choice is to ruin one and have to buy another one. Most of the time, you’re not meaning for it to happen, but it’s the rider and not the horse. It’s going to happen. If you can head it off and fix it along the way, you keep from finding yourself without anything left.

Competition
In some sports, if you just run down the field and don’t fall down, you get a trophy. At my clinics, I don’t do that. We have a buckle match ropings. If you win, you don’t necessarily get the prize. Even if you get to the last one, if you don’t catch all of them, you don’t get the buckle. You’ve got to let them compete. Another thing is the numbers these days. In the tie-down roping and the team roping, everybody wants to keep their number low so they can win and rope against people they can beat. Guess what? If they up your number, you should say thank you and learn to compete instead of being average all your life.

Eyes on the Prize
You’re going to make mistakes and bad decisions but you need to rebound. Tuck your boots back in and go back at it and try to make things right. Nobody’s perfect. There was one perfect person in this world and they crucified him. Every bad mistake you make in life, somebody else has already made it. So just keep striving forward.