Why A Back-Hand Hipshot Can Change Your Life

by Kevin on May 1, 2015

“STOP!! Don’t move a muscle…just sit there and be still.” These words aren’t the ones you’d expect to hear while roping, but they were some of the best advice I’ve ever been given.

I’ve never been a good roper. I’ve never admitted this to anyone, but the reason (or better yet, the excuse) started when I was about 8 years old.

There was a place in Pecos, Texas years ago called Buster’s Barn. He used to have a little dummy roping competition and I practiced all year long so I could win me a buckle. I was so confident that I was pretty sure they were going to award me the buckle just by showing up. I told everyone about the cool buckle I was going to win and I slept with my rope the night before the competition.

What happened? I got my butt kicked…but my little four year old brother won a buckle bigger than his head.

I never wanted to rope again. Life wasn’t fair. He hadn’t practiced and practiced. It wasn’t his dream to win the Buster’s Barn Buckle. He wanted to pick his nose and eat ice cream. So I put down the rope, and when I was old enough, I climbed on horses that wanted to buck.

Well, I don’t want to ride horses that buck anymore. I’m tired of it. I’ve been there and screw the t-shirt.

So here I am, a middle-aged man of approximately 23 years old (give or take 20 years), learning how to rope. Oh, I’ve roped on ranches and various things over the years, but it was just to get something done and usually involved way more running and looping than was prudently necessary.

Think every cowboy can rope good? You don’t know much about cowboys then.

Think you have to rope to be a cowboy? You don’t know nothing about cowboying then.

So not only am I learning how to rope, but I’m learning the buckaroo style or big-loop roping. I’m not trying to become a buckaroo, but merely wanting to grow as a cowboy and be able to go on any outfit and be able to do things like they do it.

So back to the story.

I’ve just thrown a backhand hipshot at the dummy and it lands perfectly. I smile and as I go to coil up and throw another loop, I hear Ty say, “”STOP!! Don’t move a muscle…just sit there and be still.”

I looked at him confused and he rode over next to me and marveled at my shot with me.

“Remember this. Remember how it felt. Don’t be so quick to do it again. Let your muscles and your mind absorb what you did. Don’t hurry away from a good thing. Enjoy it for more than just a moment because they don’t come often.”

And I did just that…

Maybe today you will throw the perfect backhand hipshot in whatever form and fashion you make your living from. When you make that shot, don’t hurry to the next. Just imagine Ty and I riding up alongside you–admiring your throw.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

© Kevin Weatherby, 2015

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