Sunday, August 30, 2009

Reader's view on the 3 second rule commentary

Dear Leo,

I totally agree with you and Jerold about the 3 second rule, etc. It facinates me that people want to change the rules that have been in place for decades. Whatever happened to just doing your job and letting your skills speak for itself.
From a historical perspective, yourself and Jerold have revolutionized the sport. Too many of the young ropers don't realize how much you two contributed to team roping. I've been around long enough to realize that. We have met several times through Earl Davis & David Motes. Anyways, I really enjoyed your website and blog on team roping subjects. Hope all is well.

J. Moore

Colorado Roping Schools

Leo and Jerold Camarillo will be having two roping schools in Colorado in October. Salida on October 3rd and 4th (Contact Donna Taylor at 719-221-3716) Space is often limited, call early to guarantee a spot. Second school is October 10th and 11th in Colorado Springs. Sign up details for the Colorado Springs school will follow soon.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thank you Camarillos!!!

A note from a student:

My name is Colton, and I want to thank Jerold and Leo Camarillo for their training. I competed this year in Northern California Junior Rodeo Association. I competed in a number of events and did well enough in Steer Stopping to qualify for the 2009 NCJRA Finals Rodeo held in Clements, CA in September. I have trained a lot at Camp Jerold, with Jerold Camarillo for the past two years and have really improved. "I wouldn't be where I am today without getting lessons from the Camarillos" says Colton. "Jerold not only makes me practice roping but has me ride a lot of different horses which pushes me to be a better rider and roper. Thank you Jerold, for so much help this year." he added. Colton is 14 years old and has competed in rodeo for a number of years. He has completed numerous roping lessons at the Camarillo arena in Oakdale, CA. "I won second place out of 50 ropers at my last rodeo this summer and took home $156 dollars. It happened because I get great training. Thank you Jerold!!!". - The Camarillo's regularly provide lessons to all ages and abilities. Check for lesson availability by contacting either Jerold or Leo Camarillo.

Mix It Up

Roping practice can become routine, and often ropers who do well in the practice arena don't perform well in rodeo's and jackpots. Many agree that it's a whole different experience with the competion factor. One way to liven up your practice sessions is to throw in a practice-arena jackpot. A few bucks, drinks or some other nominal prize sets the stage for a little friendly competion. The photos shows a recent Sunday jackpot at the Camarillo's arena in Oakdale, minus hundreds of spectators and other competitors. (Jerold Camarillo is kneeling). There were pros, young, old, novice alike in the mix. A round robin draw let everyone rope together and there was enough competition to rattle a few ropers, but in a good way. Jerold says he has often seen individuals really shine in the practice pen that have a hard time transitioning to a performance. This can be a good way to bring that experience into the mix. Jerold also described a story from a few years ago when brother Leo roped 50 head a day for 3 straight days, under a stop watch relentlessly practicing in 100 degree heat. He did everything he could to put self-induced pressure on himself to get tuned up for his next competition. Treating a practice session like a real performance benefits the weekend jackpot roper too. Rather than just going to the arena again today, roping a few, give an impromptu jackpot a try. Put a couple of bucks in the hat and see if it make you step up your practice session to the next level. You'll be better prepared for real competition the next time.

Learn More, More Quickly

A difficulty in any sport is being able to breakdown a specific skill into a series of steps, and be able to repetitiously practice certain steps to the point of mastery. Young or old, habits can be hard to break, and slowing things down can certainly facilitate seeing and correcting mistakes and behavior. The Camarillo's often use mechanical devices, like this calf roping dummy that can be pulled by an ATV to facilitate slowing down the run, ability to repetitively re-create the situation, or to eliminate the multitude of distractions that can make learning difficult. The picture shows a novice roper, just getting the very first positioning lessons she will need for following live cattle. Experienced ropers benefit too. Recently an adult woman came to polish her breakaway roping skills, and Jerold Camarillo quickly identified she was having a problem consistently getting the horse into the best position to rope. When she did it right she often caught, when she didn't she missed. By moving temporarily from live cattle to the "sled" pulled by the ATV, he was able to eliminate a lot of variables like fast running calves from the equation. The student had less distractions created by live calves and she could focus on positioning. He could stop, teach, and repeat. Just being able to eliminate so many variables quickly certainly improved the teacher/student experience and shortly she was back to live cattle and working on her next skill. A mix of mechanical and live cattle will improve your roping. Mechanical devices keep variables and distractions to a minimum, saves horses and you don't have to feed the steel calf. Next time you're frustrated with a roping problem, consider using mechanical devices. Proper instruction is certainly a requirement too. Leo and Jerold can very quickly see what a roper is doing incorrectly, actions that are sometimes so subtly that the roper him or herself doesn't see or feel it. Knowing what to correct, how and with what device is critical to a fast improvement. Experts like the Camarillo's are quick to point out that no one device will work for everything. Sometimes ONLY live cattle can be used for the lesson. The importance is knowing what should be used, and from the student's stand point being open minded to experience both mechanical and live options.

Getting the Right Start

Recently a young girl from Arizona, Marissa, came to Camp Jerold in Oakdale, CA for roping lessons. She has an interest in getting into break away roping and spent a couple of days in training. Today the industry has at it's disposal, a series of training options including traditional "dummy roping" devices thru live cattle. Marissa began basic ground work with a sawhorse style dummy learning basic rope handling techniques, then moved on to using a specialized calf roping dummy that can be pulled behind an ATV (see other post above). Part of her training included horsemanship, position, roping technique and other basics that were facilitated by utilizing a mechanical rather than live subject. The Camarillo's maintain an arsenal of different mechanical aides and devices for both calf and team roping and, combined with good instruction and later live cattle, they are really able to faciliate the learning experience. For some students this means being able to slow down or focus on a very specific step or technique not quite possible or replicable with live animals. Of course the "live" component can't be fully reproduced with a mechanical device so there are plenty of cattle when the student is ready. One of the advantages for Melissa was a wide range of available roping horses to utilize. She currently is looking to buy a roping horse and had the opportunity to view and test a full spectrum of quality horses from older experienced horses to younger PRCA level performers. At the end of the week she walked away with a smile, new roping skills that were learned through personalized instruction, and a new horse that "fit" her and her experience level.