What Makes a Good Cutting Horse?

"cutting horse", horse
What makes a good cutting horse?

I have absolutely no business writing a blog post on what makes a good cutting horse. In fact, I have never ridden a cutting horse. In my youth I put a cow in the stall with my Quarter Horse to see if he had any “cow sense” as in would he dominate the cow and show him who is the boss. My horse let the cow eat from his feed bin and moved out of the cow’s path in the paddock. Needless to say, my horse did not have good cutting horse potential.
While I no longer own any horses, I specializing in writing about equestrian travel and jump at the chance to go horseback riding whenever the opportunity presents itself during my travel assignments. Later this year I’ll be attending Cowboy College in Scottsdale, Arizona. I imagine that I’ll have an introduction to good horsemanship, including how to groom and saddle a horse, clean a hoof with a hoof pick and proper equitation posture and pleasure riding tips. I would love to ride a good cutting horse.

"cutting horse" horse
Cutting horse should control the cow

Cutting horse history

Back in the day, cowboys and cowgirls used cutting horses to chase cattle. The role of a good cutting horse was to separate a particular cow from the herd to brand, vaccinate or check for health issues. Today, this equestrian sport is one of the world’s fastest growing equine sports in North America. It is also an expensive sport because these cutting horses are world-class athletes. Watch a cutting horse futurity and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

What makes a good cutting horse?

Cutting horses should be aggressive & control the cow
Cutting horses should have good conformation
Cutting horses should be fluid movers with good slides, spins and stops
Cutting horses should be willing
A good rider helps a good cutting horse perform
Have you ridden a cutting horse? Stayed tuned for my Cowboy College experience in Scottsdale, Arizona. Share your tips on what makes a good cutting horse.

Photos courtesy of Flickr creative commons.