I moved to Texas from South Carolina in 2007. My swing was too tight, my delivery was terrible, and my riding was terrible. I never thought I belonged with the best guys in the world. I’d pull up at the rodeo and there’s Tee Woolman and Speed Williams, and here I am trying to compete. I never figured I was capable of roping with them by any means. Just to be a part of it was good enough for me. At least I was there trying. That was the most important thing to me.
I moved in with Chad Masters, who had just won the world but who I knew from back in the Southeast. I got a job with Allen Bach, and I worked hard. Between the two of them and me, I put together a blueprint for my heading, and that helped get me to where I am today— to where I’ve got confidence to compete with anybody. If I didn’t make it, I didn’t have anyone to blame but myself because I was surrounded by the best.
I needed to either change my fundamentals and my horses and everything I was doing, or I needed to figure out something else to do. What I had been doing wasn’t good enough. But I was in the right place, with the right people. I just needed to put in the work. And I liked to work. I saddled their horses, I roped whenever I could, and when I wasn’t doing anything, I was roping the dummy. I thought if I made it to the NFR one time, that would be more than I could ever ask for.
The more I worked, the more my confidence came from roping wit