Walt Woodard – How to Throw a Better Head Loop


WW talks about what he thinks it takes to throw a better head loop. I put some video of us riding our colts, just to give you an idea of what our slow work looks like. The Palomino is an outside horse we are training and the Roan is my 4 year old, Blueberry. To sign up for our October 12-14 class, book a school in your area, or get a horse in training, call 209-993-3359 or 209-610-4312.


4 Responses to “Walt Woodard – How to Throw a Better Head Loop”
  1. K. T. Anderson says:

    Just wanted to say thanks again some of use are spreding the word now about how much fun and what a great learning experience you bring to the schools.Hope to see you again and if you are ever in Idaho around Pocatello My Number is 208-221-1033 your welcome for dinner any time and I’ll invite John Ward as well. K.T.

  2. bob hillrh says:

    walt. been to your school in chino ca. you talk about turning your top strand down before you get to the tip of the right horn when heading. my question is why, where is my top strand suppose to be on the delivery and when and how do i get there with my top strand turned down.

    thank you for your time,
    760 964-9139

  3. jason s. lewis says:

    Hello Sir,
    Hope all is well with you and your family.

    You may not remember me me but I went to your clinic in Riverton Wy at Mosses arena in 2012 I could not make it this year. (Sorry)
    Anyway I was the person with the grey horse who you spent about a half a day on for me, you took me aside and told me just what I needed to do with him. And I greatly appreciate that.
    Last year I only went to 3 ropngs with him. Using what you taught me at your clinic I made the short round on him at all ropings which is good news, again on the plus side I have continued to discipline myself and the horse with what you showed me which is awesome!!
    I have been to 2 ropings only this summer probably 3 more with my schedule tops, I won 3rd in the avg. At the first one and 1st,2nd,and 4th in the average in the other on him , and have started another head horse prospect at the same time.

    You taught me a lot not only about myself but about life in general in that 1 clinic that I have ever went to and I greatly thank you for that sir.

    Just thought I would give you an overdue and yet short update.

    God bless you and good luck in all your endeavors with you and your family.

    Jason S.Lewis
    Riverton, Wyoming

    p.s. I thought you were retiring but I have read your name a lot lately in the prca results and standings, go get em Mr . Woodard.

    P.s.s I read the Og Mandino book back in the 80’s just read it again last year, lot of life lessons there no doubt about it!

  4. Jeff says:

    Walt, I’ve been a long time fan and, to me, you’re one of the greatest thinkers to ever step in the arena. I grew up with a rope in my hand, but life kind of got in the way and it’s something I’m wanting to pick back up. This time I’m trying to make sure I have a plan before I start. My question is on the heeling side regarding the delivery.

    When I was young, my dad would make me go up to the open ropers and ask them a question. It was embarrassing at first, but I learned a lot. Everyone said the same thing about position, swing, etc, but you can ask 50 different guys questions about the delivery and they’ll give you 50 different answers. Or, they’ll give you something someone else told them. I always assumed this was the part of heeling that you must come up with your own answer.

    Through trial and error years and trying different methods, I quit using a delivery all together. I just don’t have one and don’t believe it’s necessary. Delivering your rope will work in a perfectly plowed arena with a great handle, but it will not catch an 800-lb yearling dragging through 2-foot of CRP grass.

    Thanks to a lot of help, especially from you, I understand when you’re swinging the rope correctly, the over/under motion of your elbow is what sends the tip either down or up. So, to have a chance at catching, my last motion has to be an over crank with my elbow to send the tip down. When I tried to “deliver” my heel loop, I would find my tendency (and almost any pro who missed or caught a leg) was to try and rope ahead of the tip. This required not only a great amount of practice, perfect timing and position, but also pure talent and superior fine motor skills. Since, you are roping ahead of the tip and entering your delivery on an under position with your elbow, the only feasible way to get your rope in front of the feet is to use a finger over the thumb grip and a two-strand delivery. This way you can torque the tip down with the last crank of the elbow, then clamp the top strand with your index finger and thumb, so the tip pivots around and goes in first. It was always complicated and a lot of things can go wrong. The target becomes small and things are moving 90 miles an hour. Worst of all, I’ve stopped riding my horse because I have a swing and a delivery still to make. You’ve lost all your power which is why you miss every time in a CRP field. Any positive energy you’ve created in your tip has been lost.

    When I ditched a delivery and started throwing my rope on an upward elbow crank (sending tip down) at the top of my swing, then all I had to do was hang onto it just long enough for me to be roping behind the tip. Then, I have control and can guide my rope. The only thing I needed to do was roll my palm towards a little bit to give the rope a vertical trajectory. Plus, I’ve got way more power and energy in my tip. I could feel that tip just explode out of my shoulder. The only reason I don’t let go at that point is for aim and accuracy. There’s not really a delivery as it is simply dropping your rope without any interference out of a thumb over finger grip.

    I noticed this improved my horse by leaps and bounds as well because suddenly I was able to ride through the run instead of having to worry about a bunch of things. Everything that mattered had already been accomplished. No setting the bottom strand on the ground. No combining your last upward elbow rotation and delivery into one compact motion. No having to rope cattle going away from me. No requiring perfect timing to catch the feet in the air. Plus, it was a much more natural motion for my elbow.

    Before I start all over again, do I have this theory right or do you believe in some kind of magic delivery? Thanks and would love to hear your thoughts.



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