Friday, February 24, 2012

How many cows would a cutter cut if a cutter could cut cows?

Buster Welch on Bet Hesa Cat... hot damn I love this horse.
One day Buster, i'm going to be just like you!

I was awoken to a phone call from a cutting horse trainer I had emailed a month ago. Same story, they didn't have "lesson horses" around and lessons on my own horse would be pricey too. However, we did have a nice talk (... isn't that nice? someone calls you out of the blue you've never met and you can just have a nice chat with them). He told me that with the drought years, and the fact the states are in a major cattle slump, cutting horse lessons are going to continue to become more and more expensive as barns fight to keep stock cattle to practice on. Makes sense, just sucks.

A lot of the trainers I've contacted have said the same story but offered up "finished cutting horses" that I could purchase and take lessons with. I'm a student, around here a finished, proven cutter can range anywhere from $10,000 (usually more around $15,000) - $30,000, and that's for me, a complete beginner to cutting. (what kind of freakin' beginner has $20,000 for a horse?! Show me your ways if you do!) It's pretty disheartening, this man however (a very respected trainer in these parts), told me that for a beginner I could easily get a ranch type horse that would be able to work a cow decently but may need to be helped along, pay between $5-7,000 for something pretty good, and from there would be able to learn. He said that a lot of people try to push finished cutters on beginners but it's not always necessary, especially if your taking lessons under someone. From there, once you get the hang of things, you can move up into the more "finished" world of quarter horses. He also said that he'd keep me in mind if anything comes along... which was really nice.

So, I'm a bit stuck, I talked to another trainer whose willing to put me on a couple cutters he has, but they don't start up until spring.. and then I'm gone for the summer. I'm really hoping that works out, I'm really interested in this damn sport, but I've never actually worked live cattle! It's time, no ifs ands or buts.

So, maybe the new plan is to continue with normal western lessons until I'm done University next year than in two years work my absolute ass off and buy myself a horse that can get my foot in the door, and move up from there.. that seems to be the easiest way to go about this goddamn dream. Life is so expensive ya'll!


  1. I've ridden one real cutting horse and it really was one of those thrills that you don't soon forget about. The barn I was at actually specialized in reined cow horses rather than strictly cutters. If you have any reined cow horse people near you maybe that's another place you can try for your lessons?

  2. That is definitely something to look into! I've looked into some reining trainers as well, it all just seems to be the same story - you need your own horse. It's funny too, for an area that is so focused on western riding, it seems all the barns with lessons horses/lessons for beginners are english. Kind of discouraging, but i'll keep sending out emails haha, and hopefully something falls into place. The place i'm at now is great though, western pleasure, but atleast it's sort of in the direction i'm trying to go.