There is a lot of lingo & terminology dedicated to the world of western horse shows. We’ve broken the show world down into smaller sub-categories to cover it in finer detail. Here is a list of common terminology used in the world of roping.
If roping isn’t your thing, be sure to check out other type of horse terminology.
Basics | English Show | Dressage A-E | Dressage F-O | Dressage P-W
A catch where the rope hangs in the steers mouth.
Breaking the Barrier
Breaking the rope or electronic eye barrier before being released. This adds a 10 second penalty on the contestant’s time.
Catch As Catch Can
When a roper is allowed to catch stock however they want as long as they let go of the rope when throwing the loop and it holds the calf until the roper reaches it.
A breed of cattle from Mexico that has been found to be well suited for team roping.
A wind of the rope around the saddle horn after the stock has been caught.
An illegal steer wrestling maneuver which causes all four feet to face a different direction than the head. To receive time the contestant must roll the steer over or throw it again.
When a steer drags their hind legs.
When an animal ducks quickly to the right or left.
A steer that is very hard to rope and eliminates a roper from the average of roping.
Also called a legal catch. In team roping the header has to catch the steer around the horns, head or neck.
A legal catch made by accident or by missing an initial throw and flipping the rope just right.
The official who signals the end of a timed event.
A round in which every roper entered gets the chance to rope.
When all contestants in an event fail to qualify, the purse money is distributed evenly among them.
The cowboy that rides along the outside of the steer to keep them from running away from the steer wrestler’s horse.
A leather piece strapped onto steers horns during team roping to prevent damage to the them.
The cowboy that ropes the steer during team roping.
The cowboy that ropes the hind legs of the steer in team roping.
The eye at the end of a rope that allows it to become a loop.
Also known as a half-hitch, this is the knot used tie three of the calfs feet together after they have been thrown.
When a roper flips the calf over backwards after roping it. Can result in disqualification.
Lap-and Tap Start
Roping without a barrier.
The right side of a horse.
A small, soft rope that is used by ropers to tie a calfs feet together.
A small bit of the rope barrier that pulls away when the barrier is broken.
A rope barrier that must be pulled across the opening of the box.
The money paid to the winners of each event.
How much of a head start the steer is given before the roper is allowed to chase.
Responsible for marking each contestant’s time for each event. Two timers must agree on each contestant’s time.
In team roping, a steer that hangs on the rope and trots with their hind legs instead of running.