By Eric Norwood Jr.
PNT staff writer
Man and beast joined forces in the spirit of competition Saturday at Eastern New Mexico University’s College Daze Rodeo.
“Balance is a big thing. You got to keep your feet under you,” said Clay Bonner, a junior at ENMU who competed in calf roping and team roping.
“You’ve got to be in shape, both physically and mentally,” said Dustyn Sisneros, a freshman competing in team roping for ENMU.
Lindsey Adcock, a freshman at ENMU competing in the breakaway and goat tying, had some sound advice as well.
“You need to have a lot of patience, as well as be physically strong. If you can’t pick up a rope, you can’t rope a calf,” Adcock said.
New Mexico Junior College competitor Jessa Galloway was in four events.
“Mental preparation is something I think is necessary. I visualize all my runs in the shoots beforehand. I see myself catching the calf,” said Galloway, a sophomore.
“Eye-hand coordination I would say is pretty important too,” added ENMU senior Ti’Ada Gray, who competed in barrel racing, the breakaway, and team roping.
Horses and riders shared a bond and success was directly determined by the relationship.
Cole Schur, a sophomore from Clarendon College in Clarendon, Texas, tried to explain.
“He’s (the horse) an athlete too, you got to make sure he is ready. You got to ride them a lot and keep them in shape,” said Schur. “If you’ve got a horse that you’ve been roping on and riding on every day, then it’s kind of like a bond you have where he knows what you’re fixing to do and you know what he’s fixing to do,” Schur said.
“You and the horse have to get along. You have to understand him to be able to use him. Some horses have tempers, and if you can’t handle him, you can’t ride him,” said Adcock.
“You and your horse are a team. You spend a lot of time working with your horse to understand your signals, whether it be your hand movements or your feet movements,” said Bonner.
Western Texas College sophomore Isaiah Clayton had just a few letters to describe what is needed for a successful horse-rider relationship.
“A little TLC. Tender loving care. Just take care of ‘em. If they are feeling good and you are feeling good then you’ll be all right,” said Clayton.