So far the ride out west has been good to us. We’ve covered a lot of ground between stops. This week on our structures for every style trail ride, we’re making our seventh stop – cutting.
Cutting is a western style that requires serious team work between horse and rider. Together they have to separate an animal from its herd and keep it away for a period of time. They are judged on their ability to do this. Like most western styles, cutting evolved from horses’ actual jobs on the ranch. In this case horses were used to separate cows from their herd for vaccinations, castration and sorting. Cutting is currently a fast-growing equine sport.
Teamwork is all about trust
Due to their ability to make quick movements, American Quarter Horses are the most popular choice for this style of riding. The horse is completely responsible for keeping the cow away from the herd after it is separated. The rider loosens the reins and allows the horse to do the work. There is a 2.5 minute time period for the horse to cut cows away. On average, three cows are cut in that timeframe. Judges score the competition in a range of 60 to 80. It is scored based on how the horse moves in relation to the cow. During the time period, riders stay focused on the horse’s neck and stay centered so that they can anticipate their mounts next step and move with it.
Fabric is the answer
A great deal of space is needed in cutting arenas so that a herd of cows can be inside and still have enough room for the horse and rider to separate a cow. This is where ClearSpan Fabric Structures come in. They make the perfect cutting arena because they are available at any length and in widths from 20′ to 300′.
Cutting is a sport that requires a great deal of communication and connection between horse and rider. The peaceful atmosphere of a ClearSpan arena would only enhance that connection. Stick around and stay with us as we continue our journey. Our time together is growing shorter because there are only three stops left. Ride with us to next week’s stop – driving.
It’s amazing that most of the western styles of riding derived from horses’ actual jobs. What animal jobs would you like to see turned into a sport?