DIY Calf/Goat Roping Dummy

Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life, Rodeo

My four-year-old, Milo, is crazy about all things roping. He loves roping both the dummies we have set up behind the house, but I am not so crazy about him knocking them over to practice his calf tying. The rest of the family likes to rope the dummy, too, and their wooden legs can only take so much abuse before they break.

So, my husband built Milo a calf roping dummy. We got a worn-out ATV tire for free at our local tire store. I picked the smaller ATV tire rather than a full-size car tire because I thought it would fit Milo’s smaller size better. Also, his older sister can use it as a goat tying dummy.

But first, Milo and his younger brother used the old tires as seats. Ta-da! Fun throughout the whole process.

goat/calf roping dummy

Then, my husband Jim cut the tire in half. He used a grinder at first, then finished the job with a hand saw. There are probably more efficient tools, but this is the cowboy DIY version using what is at hand in the saddle house.

goat tying dummy

Then, Jim drilled holes into pieces of scrap wood that he cut to the same length. No need to rush out and buy brand-new lumber for this project; I think this wood came from a garden trellis that I didn’t like and tore down.

calf/goat tying dummy

Then he bolted the wooden legs onto the half-tire. We had to buy the bolts, but I think that was our only expense.

calf/goat tying dummy

Here’s the finished calf tying dummy. It originally had three legs, then Jim later added another leg because Milo got it into his head that it was a calf and therefore needed four legs. Now, the dummy can also stand up and serve as a crawling tunnel for our one-year-old. It’s a multi-purpose child’s toy, really.

calf/goat tying dummy

Here, Milo tests out the new dummy while little brother Levi watches. They both love it, and big sister Grace can’t wait to get a real goat string and join the fun.

calf/goat tying dummy


Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life, Rodeo

About Jolyn Young

Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit

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