HEADING DRILL 1:

Adjust tension rods on machine to go in a straight direction of travel. As you and your horse get used to roping the dummy hauler, you can adjust the machine to veer left or right. Place the dummy hauler in the same starting position a live steer would be in. Back into the box and have the remote control operator start the dummy hauler on your nod. For the first couple runs, leave at a slow walk or trotting pace. Work your way up to a lope and practice turning the dummy hauler off to the left and face. Have the remote control operator release trigger on remote once the dummy hauler is turned so that the horse can drag the dummy hauler like a sled. Our stabilizing arms will prevent the dummy hauler from falling over. If you do not have an arena or box, you can perform this same drill in a pasture or yard. This is a great drill to introduce your horse to the dummy hauler before roping on the high speed rails.

HEADING DRILL 2:

This drill will require the high speed rail kit. Once your dummy hauler is in position on the rails, back your horse into the box as if you’re preparing for a high speed run. On your nod, have the remote control operator slowly move the dummy hauler forward as you walk out of the box toward it. Ride up to your highest percentage catch range and hold that position half way down the arena. When you’re ready, rope the dummy and maintain the same position. On the next couple runs, do the same drill but steer stop on some and stay with the dummy on others. This will keep your horse free and always guessing as to whether you will stop after roping or not. Once your horse gets used to roping the dummy hauler on rails, you can start to increase your speed. You can also start to turn left and go across the arena and face just like on a live steer. This is the most common drill for headers because it’s so easy and you’re able to get in a lot of training runs.

HEADING DRILL 3:

This final drill will also require the high speed rail kit. Now that you have spent some time getting you and your horse familiar with the dummy hauler, it’s time to start full speed competition runs. Our dummy hauler and rail kit are the only products on the market that can give headers a real full speed run. For the first few runs you will want the remote control operator to have the speed setting on remote to be on low and to fully press the trigger on your nod. This is still a fast competition run but it’s unlikely you will get outrun unless you are really late getting out of the box. This setting will give the roper a feel for a “realistic steer” or a lower number competition run. If you are a #6 roper or above and want to prepare for an open jackpot or rodeo steer you will want to have the remote control operator set the remote to high and fully pull the trigger when you nod. This will match the speed and start of a fresh steer and you will get outrun if you miss your start. Once you rope the dummy you will want to go left just like in competition and face your horse at the end. We strongly recommend using the Smarty body for the rail kit because the horns collapse. If you use a fixed horn dummy you will have to let go of the rope and miss the opportunity to dally. This is as close to a real run as it gets for roping machines.