In Which We Watch A Good Cutting Horse Do His Job

Meet Rhodie. I thought it would be fun for us to watch some excellent cutting work. Rhodie belongs to a friend of Bella’s.  I think you’ll have the same reaction I did, and love watching Kathy ride. She’s incredibly fluid on a super quick, cowy horse. She makes it look effortless, as if the horse is doing all the work, and she’s just along for the ride: just like an upper level rider of any discipline.

It shows again: good riding is good riding, whatever you decide to do. Pair good riding up with an exceptional horse, and you get this super quiet, laser-focused team.

As the video starts, focus on the woman off to the right, in the white hat, who appears to be doing…not much. Horse and rider are astoundingly quiet. It seems to me, you’d have to be completely in the zone to get such a non-reaction out of a herd of steers.

Being the DQ (wannabe) who accidentally cut a steer on her visit to watch roping practice, I can say that for Rhodie to come off the steer the instant she asked, go immediately ‘invisible’, and ease back into the herd  – that’s just plain amazing.

Maybe we’ll get lucky, and Kathy will be able to join us, and tell us a little about the skills needed for cutting, if she has time!

Note: Rhodie is no longer for sale, he was sold yesterday. Bella’s hauling him to his new home today!

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10 thoughts on “In Which We Watch A Good Cutting Horse Do His Job

  1. lifereconnected

    Wow indeed. This is an arena I know absolutely nothing about but I can appreciate brilliant riding when I see it and I saw it here. Very, very nice and thank you for showing this.

    Reply
  2. theliteraryhorse Post author

    I thought y’all might have fun watching this!

    The things that impressed me:

    The horse and rider still go nearly invisible on the cow’s radar (to me an incredible feat, even with a nicely settled herd) after the first cut/run is finished. (someone correct me if I got the terms wrong!)

    Perfectly executed, quiet, instant leg yield in the middle of the herd while she was selecting her steer for her first cut. Moving those steers out of the way to help position the one she wanted.

    How even after Rhodie locked on, he did not anticipate, and waited for Kathy to say “yes” that IS the steer I want.

    Touching the horn isn’t to hang on (my understanding), it’s to have a body reference so you can STAY perfectly with the horse: one more tool to remind your body where it’s supposed to be. (Like keeping your eyes on the cow, not your horse) Her arm is loose, she’s not holding it to keep from falling off.

    IN her 3rd cut, if you watch how far Rhodie goes into the crouch, there are places where Kathy’s boot is probably a foot off the ground. Imagine your horse dropping that fast, that low, while rolling back and forth at speed. It looks to me like a two foot drop. HUGE to have the front of your horse go down that far.

    I’m still awed by Rhodie’s willingness to come off the cow. Once locked on, they’re usually having a ball, and don’t want to come off. Instant off.

    I also love how quiet the other cow horses are in the arena. They know it’s not their turn. 😉 I’m still amazed I can take Hudson to roping practice, set him up to hold the hazing line, and he’ll nod off while I act as rope rack and meanly stare at steers, when the thing he loves most is happening 8 feet away!

    Reply
  3. Marissa

    So cool!!!! I love getting a glimpse into other disciplines, particularly when I can see an example of how it’s done “right.” This was really, really neat to watch. Glad Rhodie found himself a new home!

    Reply
  4. eventer79

    Sweet video! What a neat horse — I love watching good cutting teams. Something about a working horse and a rider who works WITH the horse…

    Reply
  5. Lissa Rabon

    Barbara, cut yourself some slack! SPOOKS…include not anticipating that it was going to happen. Thanks for the fun video, Jane. Those were good cattle and had been well settled. The guy who was announcing is Tom Holt. His voice is so recognizable, he travels the U.S. just doing these shows. Interesting life, this cutting horse world. Have a great weekend!

    Reply
  6. Barbara

    LOVE watching a horse doing its job and being allowed to be an athlete.
    Watching cutting horses, I do have to wonder why I think it is a big deal when I don’t fall off of a sideways spook – that is basically what they are doing about a hundred times cutting a cow.

    Reply
    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      Lissa nailed it.
      Cutters practice for these movements, they know exactly how their horses move, and – most important – they are directing the horse’s movements. Kathy was asking Rhodie to move like that, and was ready for his response.

      Big difference from a frightened, bolting horse, usually with it’s head in the rafters, that jumps unexpectedly sideways at speed. It is a big deal you don’t come off! 🙂

      Reply

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