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What is "Cutting" and how can cutting training help my horse?

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

I've lost count of the number of times that I have had to explain this question to people that I have been talking to, so what is cutting? The video below shows the sequence of the event.

1. The rider enters the herd, and cuts out a cow.

2. The rider then puts his hand down on the horse's neck and the run is judged on their ability to control the cow.

3. The rider chooses a time to quit the cow and all going well cuts out another two cows in the 2 1/2 minutes allowed for the run.


The cutter has 4 riders to help with the run, 2 herd holders beside the herd and 2 turn-back men pushing the cut cow back toward the herd, showing the horse's ability to the best.

How does cutting help my horse?

The foundation training for cutting builds upon the natural instincts or cowsense of the horse. Watch this link to see cowsense at work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cReoBXA-Jm4. Trainers have found that, unlike many equine events which see horses get sour and uncooperative from training and showing, many cutting horses get better with each run because they simply enjoy what they are doing.

The introduction of cattle into the training program helps to cement many of the training concepts that are required for other events, particularly stops and rollbacks, and this is achieved by putting the focus onto the cow rather than the horse focusing upon the signals from the rider.




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