Previously I did Part 1 about developing a deeper seat as you work a cow.
This is Video 2 in that series. While it’s for all who work cattle (cutting, reined cow horse, and ranch cutting riders, etc,) there’s a message here for riders in all discipline.
I also focus on the role of using the horn in cultivating a deep seat.
This is the second video in a series for developing a deeper seat.
This video is for cutters and for people who work cattle. However, there is a message that I’ll share at the end of the video for everyone who rides.
The first thing I want to talk about is to define a deep seat and what that really means.
Our core center balance for us is right here in the abdominal area. When you experience a deep seat, there is a feeling of heaviness and a feeling of being grounded in the abdomen.
When that happens, we get connected to the center of balance of a horse which exists right behind the withers (and it moves around a little depending upon where the front end is, or the rear end is of the horse).
We want to feel a very grounded connection. It feels like our shoulders are soft. Again, our core will ideally have a sense of weightiness to it.
When we get ready to stop on a cow we drop our hips and our core down even more into the seat. That’s where we talked about developing in deep seat.
Now, I want to talk about the function of the horn because the horn has so much to do with what happens with your seat as you’re working a cow.
Now, there’s a lot of talk and a lot of instruction about pushing on the horn.
That’s because when you’re first starting to cut you sometimes feel like you’re being thrown around … you just can’t get grounded in the saddle. In that particular situation, it’s a good idea to push on the horn.
Here’s another scenario when it’s a good idea to push on the horn … if you tend to grip the horn and pull on it. In this case, you pull yourself up and you actually come out of your center of balance. This would be a good time to push on the horn to get back down.
However, you don’t want to push on the horn forever once you find your seat. Instead, you want to use the horn more of like a lever, shall we say. Use it to experience a light steadiness. Press the horn and bring your attention back to your core.
So, when you hear the instruction, “Push on the horn,” I have an idea for you.
Check in with your hand. Make sure you’re not pulling with your fingers. Do whatever you need to do to feel steady (press on the horn) and then bring your attention to your core and tell yourself to push down on your core. Push your belly button back to your spine and get down. Push down in the saddle. Translate those words, “Push on the horn,” to “Push on your core”.
That’s it for this video … except here’s my message for everyone who rides.
Much of the time when we’re learning, and we’re doing kind of funky things with our hands or our feet … we’re coached to do something in the extreme (to bring us back to a better maneuver). It’s like a rubber band. You come back to the middle. That’s good.
Overexaggerated instructions are good, except in the long run.
You always want to be very clear about what you ideally want to do, instead of doing things that are stop gap measures indefinitely. Use the temporary actions to help you, just not forever. In this example of pushing on the horn, you don’t want to have that extra tension in your arm and shoulders in the long run. You want to be soft in your upper body with light pressure on the horn. Your real center of balance is in your core. Be sure to focus your attention there.
Thank you! Enjoy your horse, and I’ll see you in the next video.