Thursday, May 9, 2013

Riding Diary - 56 - Cutting

Horse: CD

Time: 2 hr

Ride: You know when life is just really, really, really amazing? May is coming in like a lion - in the best way possible. I texted Coach to ask him if I could FINALLY get a cutting lesson in now that exams are over. He replied with "Ya, we're working cows, see you at 11." uhm, gulp. I showed up with Laura in tow (TB of LV Horses), and so we got some pictures and even a video to share with you guys today!! Exciting times.

We watched him ride for awhile, and then I jumped on CD and warmed him up. Coach never lopes his horses before he works them on the flag or cows, he believes that trotting produces just as much "warm-up" but doesn't create as much brace in the horses. I always forget how freaking hard it is to extended trot a horse around, and around, and around, and around. I cannot sit CD's extended trot, like Coach would prefer me too, so I atleast got to post a bit. Holy moly.

Then, we did some dry work. I always "forget" how to sit when I'm cutting and it takes a minute for me to sink down into the saddle and remember where i'm at and how I should feel. Our stops, backs and rollbacks were feeling really good, and so we moved onto cattle.

Game Plan...

Okay, so I just walk into that herd...


Coach gave me a little bit of a pep-talk beforehand, it kind of sounded like...

Him: You'll be fine, go in there with your hand up, be focused, pick a cow, go for it, and then once he sets up, hand down, hold on, be calm, use your legs.
Me: Uhm, Okay.... *gulp*

Honestly, it's a blur haha, a really fun holymolyiwanttodothisforeverandever blur. Our first cow was good, Coach was my turnback guy, so he was able to help me set up really well. CD is a strong, strong turner, and has a really deep low stop, and so if I'm not calm and really sitting, I get jostled around. Coach kept telling me I really needed to use my legs effectively. When I felt like CD wasn't where I needed him to be my hand would creep up and i'd get the "HAND DOWN, RIGHT LEG, RIGHT LEG, USE YOUR LEGS, HAND DOWN" from Coach. It's definitely a different style of riding, not using your hands AT ALL, and will take a lot of getting use too.

Picking my cow...

Hey cow, lets do this!

There's the quickness that will take some getting used too...

Furthermore, on the flag, a cow never really "runs off", sure I've loped a bit and trotted more to catch a flag, but coach was always there to kind of control the pace for me. He can't really control a cow, although he could help me hold it, so it was a lot more running and catching up than I was used too, definitely a lot more quicker-paced than it looks when your watching the pros do it. haha, but I guess the pros are a lot better at cutting, holding and reading their cow than little 'ol me is, so that probably also effectively lessens there "run like a bat out of hell to catch a cow time".

we're figuring it out...

By the third cow I felt like CD and I were setting up and working together a lot better, and Laura even got a video of my third cow, so let me know what you think!!

For Next Time: I definitely need to work on sitting down, and being calm, as you probably saw in the video there were a couple turns where CD almost lost me. I have a lot to learn about using my legs effectively, and learning how to read cows but all-in-all, I think my first time cutting live cows was pretty fricken awesome! What a rush, I just want to do it over and over and over again.

yay, one hot, sweaty, happy mess!!


  1. It is sooo fun! You look pretty good out there! Ya know when you feel most jostled looks to me like CD is not stopping, that's what Jessie does too. I hate that feeling of flopping all over, but when it goes right it is so awesome!` Yeah gotta go back for more, then you will be addicted and end up buying a cutting horse.......

    1. Thank you! Yeah, and my coach kept telling me "wait, wait, let him stop" but I guess i've had horses that you need to almost over-ride for so long, that I'm not very comfortable "sitting along for the ride" and only helping them when they need it, that's definitely something I need to work on.

      Haha, I don't know, I don't think a cutting horse is in my budget for a very long time unfortunately. We'll see, i'll just keep doing lessons and looking for somewhere/someone to work for and train under and hoping and dreaming a horse appears at my door haha.

  2. Ach! Can't open the video right now. Yup looks like a blast and from the pics you look pretty good. Not that I would know.
    Jealous fo sho!