For more than a hundred years, American cowboys have made their living
through the skilled use of horse and rope. Whole libraries have been
devoted to the horse, but no one, until now, has written a thorough
study of the origins and evolution of ranch roping—which differs from
arena roping as practiced by rodeo cowboys.
Author/cowboy John Erickson studies ranch roping from every angle: its
origins in the Old World; old-time loops and throws; the influence of
modern team roping; and the endless debate between those cowboys who
rope “hard and fast” and those who “dally.”
Mixing scholarship with his working—cowboy’s knowledge of the subject,
Erickson tells stories of cowboys who could not resist fitting their
loops on “things that ort not to be roped,” such as elk, deer, badgers,
bears, and bobcats. He tells of jackrabbit roping contests, and of
cowboys who roped mice, geese, hogs, wives, or a runaway milk wagon.
Anyone who has ever “built a loop” or even thought about it will find
this book hard to put down.
“Erickson is a good one to survey the history of ranch roping… and he
keeps his sense of humor in play at all times… Filled with photographs
of ropers in action… cartoons by the late Ace Reid… this is a
terrific book even for the tenderfoot.” —Fort Worth
“…well-written, often humorous… offering a vivid image of a cowboy’s
life in the modern day. Recommended for all readers.” —Roundup,
Western Writers of America
Printed on demand.