Written By: Omega Fields Spokesperson, John Samsill
Having been a team roper for over 50 years I get asked a lot of questions. I don’t mean how to rope, I’m talking just general questions like how has team roping changed since I started and who is the best ropers you’ve seen. One question that I have probably been ask the most and I’ve never had a good answer for is who is the best partner you’ve roped with. The reason I have never had a good answer is that I have roped with some really good guys, so I have never wanted to single one guy out. I was asked this question a few days ago and it really got me to thinking about all the guys I have roped with and who I thought was the best. Even if I kept the answer to myself. So, during my process of coming up with an answer it hit me that first I had to define what made someone a good partner. What I came up with actually surprised me.
My first thought of why someone was a good partner is that they roped really good. That really wasn’t the case as I’ve roped with guys who roped outstanding, but we didn’t win that much. Ive roped with some guys who probably wasn’t the best roper, but we won fairly consistently. Again, I didn’t feel like that was enough to put them over the top. Then it hit me what they were asking me is who was the best partner I’ve had. Roping good didn’t encompass the total package. So once again I set out to define who was the best, partner, I’ve ever had. The following is what I came up with.
The best partners I’ve had were very supportive, even if I missed or broke a barrier. The best partners I’ve ever had complimented my style of roping and believed in our teams’ abilities as much or sometimes more than I did. We could always rely on each other both in and out of the arena. What that all boils down to for me is who helped make me a better roper by them being my partner. Who was the best a that? My answer was crystal clear, but I’ll keep the name to myself out of respect to the others I’ve been fortunate enough to rope with. I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about though. At one point in our partnership I had missed three good steers in a row. I was really hanging my head low when we were riding out of the arena after I had missed the third one. When we were outside of the arena, he grabbed me by the arm and told me it was ok, he told me to stay aggressive. He told me that he wasn’t discouraged at all because when things turned around, and it would turn around, we would go right back to winning so keep doing what I was doing. I can’t tell you what that did to my confidence, especially the confidence I had in our team. This guy made me a better roper and partner. So, without a doubt he was the best partner I have ever roped with.
This journey I went on to really think of my best partner also made me realize that some of my equine partners also made me a better roper. They did the same things as my human partners. They made me better, gave me confidence and was always there for me. It also made me think of some of my horses that I took for granted and I probably wasn’t the best partner to. As I have matured and realized my part in making my horses better and even supporting them if they made a mistake, I think I have become a better partner to my horses. Part of what I do for them is use the best saddle pads, in my case I only will use SaddleRight saddle pads on my horses. One of the other things I do is ride the best saddles I can, that’s why I only ride Usher Brand Saddles. Probably the most important thing we can do is to provide them with the best nutrition. That’s why the only supplements I give my horses comes from Omega Fields Feeds. My horses get Horseshine Complete every day along with Proventum. I am trying to be the best partner to my horses that I can and that’s why these things are just part of my program. So ask yourself, are you being the best partner you can be to your equine partner?