“Three Steps for Better Stops and Turns”
One of the biggest challenges in learning to cut is to sit at the right time, to sit deeply and to allow your horse to turn correctly. Three simple steps can help the following cutting challenges:
- Rider leaning
- Horse going too long on a cow
- Horse not drawing back on his haunches
- Rider using feet too quickly in the turn
- Rider not reading the cow
The Three Steps
1. Sit quicker.
Sometimes cutters will be looking at the cow, but not reading the cow. They know they need to sit for the stop, but they sit too late causing a horse to go too long or not draw back on his hindquarters before he turns.
The solution … read the cow for the purpose of helping your horse stop accurately in the right position to stop the cow. Just tell yourself, “Sit quick,” and you may be surprised at the results because you are reading the cow better and helping your horse physically to be able to turn around correctly.
2. Sit again.
It’s easy for cutters to sit the initial time when they know it’s time to stop, but then immediately their body rises up again in anticipation of the turn. This may cause the rider to lean and/or use their feet too quickly in the turn. It may also cause the horse to not to draw back.
The solution is after you sit quickly in Step One, dramatically drop down even deeper one more time. Pretend you are becoming a small ball and you are going to keep dropping down into your horse in the stop. You can tell yourself the words, “Sit again.” It’s very effective.
3. Give the turn to your horse.
We all try to control things and make things happen. But being ahead of your horse by trying to do “something” with your upper body and feet before it’s time for you to resume using your feet or seat on the line after the turn can cause leaning, fast feet and a horse who doesn’t draw.
Instead, simply tell yourself that it’s your horse’s job to turn … not yours. Tell yourself to “Be still. Don’t move. Stay in a ball.” The effectiveness of this is dependent upon how disciplined you are in talking to yourself.