Discipline Post: Cutting

Cutting is a western equestrian competition. In cutting, a horse and a cow go head to head in a type of battle. The horse and rider move into a herd of cattle and calmly pick a cow to “cut.” Then they must drive the cow from the herd into the center of the arena and keep it away. The horse is judged on its ability to keep the cow away, its cow sense, athleticism, and attentiveness. The cows are usually composed of young steers and heifers.

The judges score on a scale from 60-80, 70 being average. The horse and rider are required to perform a deep cut and a cut for shape. A deep cut is when the cow is not from the edge of the herd. While a cut for shape is picking a cow on the outsides.

The NCHA is the National Cutting Horse Association, which governs most cutting competitions.

Smart Little Lena
Smart Little Lena (photo from AQHA.com)

This was a quick run-down of cutting, for those who are completely unfamiliar, I hope that it gave you a quick overview. For anyone who may have experience, what did I leave out? Anything important that I should add? If so, let me know in the comments!

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