Rope horses are essential for any ranch that tends cattle. A man and his roping horse are a team that can work together to isolate a cow from a pack and rope it for branding. A horse needs to go through a lot of training before it can respond properly. A horse is trained by riding it for many hours along trails or fields to check fences or look for stray cattle. As the horse and rider get to know and trust each other, the horse is given new tasks such as roping and cow-catching. A good horse is able to anticipate the reaction of cow or a calf, thereby making the work of the cowboy easier. Rodeos and roping competitions show off the skill of both the riders and their mounts.
Roping horses are normally fitted with boots to protect their legs and safeguard the cannon bone, tendons, and soft tissue.