After deciding to get focused and get serious about winning, Swayze took the #1 spot in the Cinch Ladies Standings and is currently in second place.
Too Much Roping?
Maybe a year and a half ago or two years ago I just decided to start refocusing on my team roping. I’ve team roped my whole life, but it just kind of blended in with breakaway and a bunch of other things, and now with life and job and all the other things my husband, Ryan, and I do, I don’t have time for all of it. So, I guess I’ve retired from breakaway roping and I’m just focusing on the team roping. I decided that I am tired of being mediocre, so I set some pretty big goals and decided I’m going to work on it and, after a couple years, things are finally pulling together and going the way I want them to.
All in the Family
I grew up team roping—from as long as I can remember. My dad roped and my sisters and I both junior rodeoed. My husband and his family rodeo, and then we have a farm and ranch and do all that. We spend a lot of time horseback on the ranch.
Sharing the Rodeo Road
My husband used to bulldog a lot in the PRCA and over time and with knee and shoulder surgeries, he’s not doing that anymore. He actually picks up rodeos for a stock contractor in the summers, so, this time of year we’re going to get busy with that and we share horses, so my roping will kind of go on a when-I-can kind of basis now. I’m also a full-time pharmacist, and do direct marketing when I’m on the road, so there’s that, too.
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It just got to where it was easier. There’s a lot more people close by that I can team rope with in the evenings without trying to breakaway by myself and having to haul calves. It was more than I could handle. This way, I can run home, grab horses, meet everybody at the arena, and have people to practice with. It’s helped a lot.
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The horses that we’re roping on right now are horses that we raised. They’re out of an old mare that my husband used to bulldog on and are half-brothers. We had to put that mare down about a yearand-a-half ago, so it’s kind of emotional. We’ve raised them and trained them and done everything with them, and it’s pretty neat doings to know that you’re riding something that you made. They’re 6 and 7, or maybe 7 and 8. My roan horse, the older horse, is the one I’ve won all my money on this year and he’s come a long ways in the last year. The younger one is just a little behind. He’s coming, but he needs more time. I went quite a bit on him last year. My roan horse got hurt and that one really wasn’t ready, but he stepped up and went, and I won some money on him everywhere I took him, so that was kind of cool.
Consistency is Key
I want my horse to be correct and consistent. It doesn’t always work out that way, but I want them to go and make the same trip every time. I’d like those same things for myself, too. If I could just be a solid and consistent 7 or 8 run every time—plain old boring—I would take it. I am constantly working and listening and watching videos, and doing things to help improve myself to be better. That’s a constant process. It absolutely never stops.
Setting Your Sights
This year, my goal was to make the World Series Finale, which I did back in January, so I got that accomplished right off the bat. I qualified in the #9, but, now, I’d really like to get qualified in a couple other ropings to make it more worth the trip. That’s a work in progress, but I’m looking forward to it.
Tricks of the Trade
I used to be really superstitious, and that’s something I worked very hard to get away from because that’s a mindset. It’s just tricks you play in your head, so I’ve tried to get away from things like that.
The Right Ropes
Up until last fall, I had used Cactus Mini-Mags for years and years, and I just felt like they weren’t really lasting long, so I’ve been playing around with different ones. The Fast Back Mach III and Mach III Plusses are what I’ve been using. And still the Mini-Mags and the Magnets, just a little bit.
I always use a 3-strand head rope which is pretty unusual. Most people don’t do that, but I just like how they feel a lot better than the 4- and the 5-strand ropes. Not too many people feel that way. But a lot of those 4 and 5-strand ropes have what I call a “raggy” feel that I just don’t care for much.