Baxter Black: Header or Heeler
If you saw a team roper with his hand behind his back, could you tell if he was a header or a heeler? I have done an extensive study on this very problem with a grant funded by the Pro Rodeo Ex-Wives Collection Agency and the TRA (Team Ropers Anonymous) Halfway House. Here are the results of my findings:
Headers are more likely to have their hair styled rather than cut. Heelers get their hair cut biannually and usually need a shave.
A header owns a fairly new truck and trailer with a coordinated paint job. A heeler still buys recaps and the paint job on his trailer matches the primer on his brother-in-law’s BBQ grill.
A header will often have two horses, his favorite and one in training. A heeler will have one horse, in training and FOR SALE!
A header may own his own arena. The heeler usually owes last week’s stock charge!
The header carefully positions his horse in the box, checks for steer alertness, and nods at precisely the moment everything is perfect!
The heeler is jerked awake when the head gate bangs!
The tack box of a header contains an extra set of reins, leather punch, fly spray, snaps, saddle blanket, talcum, horn wraps, assorted brushes and combs, a second tie down, various sizes of leather straps, cotton rolls, leg brace solution, hoof care tools, dikes, two pair each of bell boots and splint boots, a jar of silver polish and a can of assorted brake light bulbs.
A heeler’s tack box will have a warm bottle of Combiotic, some Bute paste, an inner tube, a hatchet, some 14 gauge wire, a nest of baler twine, an 18 piece Taiwanese socket set, a runnin’ iron, beer opener and one skid boot!
The header will discuss the lineage of his horse, “He’s out of an Easy Jet mare and full cousin to Chester.”
A heeler will discuss the lineage of his tack, “I used to ride broncs with this saddle. It’s an Association Tree but I bolted on this horn and wrapped it with duct tape. Derrick Begay gimme this halter.”
A header will blame his horse, himself, his rope, his wrap, his saddle, his timing, his technique, his dally, his loop, the steer, the wind or overtraining.
The heeler blames the header!