Me and Wesley
A lot of people have signature styles. We work more on us as a team as opposed to two people roping.
This is the third year I’ve been roping with Wesley Thorp.
The first year you rope with a new partner, you just want to do good with them. But now I’m pretty comfortable roping with Wesley. It feels natural. He lives less than two miles from me in Stephenville, Texas. We’re around each other four or five hours every day, and we never have any conflicts. I’d say we both have the same ideas on things. And we don’t get caught up in any drama. We try to stick to our own deal and work on our roping. When there’s no drama, there’s no problem.
Me and Wesley put out the same effort all the time. We work on our weak points. I’m trying to do the best job that helps him, and he’s trying to do the best job that helps me. A lot of people have signature styles. We work more on us as a team as opposed to two people roping.
I don’t just head the steer and go on with my day. I head them with Wesley in mind. I know where Wesley wants to throw. And for me, hazing-wise, Wesley knows where to leave them for me.
Say the steer comes left, and Wesley’s trying to stay back to not overhaze the steer. When the steer goes up, I’ll take a little more time in the corner so he doesn’t have to come in late. That way he can get over and still be comfortable.
We both rope aggressive, so we both work on control during the run. We try to maintain a lot of control over our horses. That way we can control the steer. By now, we’ve made so many runs together that he knows when I’m going to pull the steer and when he should make his entry and heel him. He’s really sharp on knowing when to throw his rope and when to not throw his rope. He’s really good at controlling his mind and his muscle memory.
And when things don’t work out, we both know how to finish the run without making too big a deal over it.
The spring run in California is one of our favorite times of year. But this year, his boy was due right around the end of the Red Bluff Round-Up, so he decided he’d stay in Texas. He wanted to go to California, but he needed to be home. It was a good thing, too, since his wife, Susanna, gave birth before the due date.
I’m originally from Los Olivos, California, and wanted to get out there for the spring rodeos. Hunter Koch needed a partner, so I roped with him. A couple weeks ago, me and Hunter won the Clovis Rodeo on fresh cattle. His roping style reminds me of Wesley’s. They’re both pretty sharp about what’s going on. They’re not banking on a shot. They really want to rope the feet, and they take the first clean hop. It was good to finish my spring in California like that.
While I was out in California, Wesley stayed home and roped with Charly Crawford. They went to jackpots and ropings and won a bunch of money these last couple of weeks. Clovis kind of separated us a little in winnings. I’m probably eight or nine thousand dollars ahead of him. Wesley’s seventh in the standings, and I’m fifth.
After Clovis, Hunter headed to Canada to heel for Levi Simpson. I met up with Wesley in Guymon, Oklahoma. I’ll spend the rest of the season roping with Wesley.
Now that we’re back into our normal routine, we’re practicing a lot, trying to get all the kinks worked out before we leave for the summer rodeos. This is the last time to practice before we can’t really practice any more. We’re working on us as a team.