There is nothing more awesome than feeling in the groove with your horse while working the cow.
I’m talking about that sweet flow and rhythm in which your timing and your horse’s timing are perfect for controlling a cow. It’s one of the sweetest feelings we crave when we ride a cutting horse.
Great runs have all sorts of rhythms contained within them. If you seek to establish the following rhythms within the components of your run, in concert with the technical skills, you will get quicker and more consistent results.
Here are some rhythms in a great cutting run:
1. Approaching the herd … slowing down and knowing where you are going BEFORE you enter the herd … then entering the herd with purpose.
2. Within the herd … moving with purpose … evaluating what the cattle are doing (could be a pause or could be to keep moving in small moves) … moving with purpose again … evaluating … staying smooth, seamless, aware and responsive (not reactive) to what the cattle are doing.
3. Driving a cow out … smoothly stepping into the cow … staying calmly aware of the evolving situation … moving … evaluating … adjusting … all so smoothly.
4. Putting your hand down … a slow, cool, purposeful motion down.
5. Patiently waiting for the cow to make the next move. Patient … waiting.
6. Allowing your horse to be pulled by the cow … then helping your horse with your feet to stop the cow if necessary … reading the cow so you know when to sit in perfect timing for the stop … pushing your seat back even deeper as you wait for the cow to turn your horse … and you ALLOW and feel your horse’s hind legs come back underneath you to balance and complete the turn without twisting, turning or kicking too soon … allowing your horse to complete the turn so he can accelerate in a collected manner on the line with the cow … traveling with ease and authority to stop the cow … doing it all over again.
7. Quitting with smooth hand moves … pausing … breathing … turning around smoothly.
8. Approaching the herd … go back to #1 above.
Can you feel the rhythm? Watch some great runs on YouTube and pretend you are the rider. Feel the rhythm of the steps above. Let me know what you think.
More GREAT info from Barbra can be found at: https://www.barbraschulte.com