- Personal Performance Coach for all riders | Cutting Horse Trainer and Educator | Author, Speaker, Clinician - https://barbraschulte.com -

“Part 3: Put Your Cow on the Outside and Drive UP!”

This is Part 3 in our video analysis series.

For the series, I’m using a Youtube video posted by Cutting Horse Central during which Austin Shepard coaches his son, Cade to a big championship at the Breeder’s Invitational. Austin has a Go-Pro camera mounted on his hat. While the quality of video is not ideal, there are priceless, classic coaching points made by Austin.

This video depicts “real life” in the cutting pen as experienced by the cutter being coached. That’s why I thought it would benefit you!

In this Part 3 episode you will find tips on your two jobs in the herd.

In Part 1 of this series, I talked about the importance of having a plan for your herdwork. In Part 2 I discussed your approach to the herd (just prior to entering the herd).

Now in this episode, I will talk about key tips for your walk through the herd … and driving up to the middle of the arena. 

Video Time Window for Part III
2:08 – 2:37

Quick Review 2:08 – 2:13

During this 10 seconds of the video, Austin points out to Cade where the cattle are located in the herd. These are cattle they had planned to cut when they designed their herdwork before the run.

Austin, “See the white cow … looking away from us by the red mott."

This information helps Cade decide where he will enter the herd, and gets him focused on what he will do to set up a proactive cut of the white cow.

KEY REVIEW POINTS for you just prior to entering the herd:


Now, in the following segments of time for this article, Austin stresses two key points to Cade repeatedly:

#1: He wants Cade to position the white cow on the outside of the flow of the herd.

#2. He pushes Cade to drive up and forward with energy!

POINT #1: As you walk through the herd, make a push to position your cow on the outside of the flow … or at least look to the outside of the flow of cattle (if you cut for shape). 2:14 – 2:21

At 2:14 Austin reminds Cade to, “Get her (the white cow) on the outside and get drove up.”

At 2:21 he reminds Cade again, “Push her to that outside, now. Go ahead and push her where you want her to go.”

Even though you cannot see much in the video in these few seconds of time, the wisdom for you is in what Austin says to Cade. His words are golden.

KEY POINTS for putting a cow on the outside of the flow:

POINT #2: As you drive UP and through the herd keep driving forward with great energy. 2:14 – 2:37

Now it’s time for the second part of your herdwork mission. Drive up. In fact, get way up and away from the herd. Go for a gorgeous cut in the middle of the arena.

You can see this time segment of the video a little better but it’s still not great. But again, the learning opportunity for you is in the wisdom of Austin’s words … and the way he says them.

Austin reminds Cade to move forward repeatedly. That’s because there’s a natural tendency in all of us to hang back and not drive up. It feels safer to be defensive. But, it’s not safer at all! Plus, winning runs have “clean” and offensive herdwork.

I love how Austin coaches Cade at 2:27. He’s not frantic, but he is energized: “Keep going. Keep going! Keep pushing, Cade. Get through those cows. Push through! GO! GO! GO! GO! Trot! COME ON! Get up, Cade. Come on! Come on! Come on!”

It’s so interesting to me that even though Austin and Cade show consistently, they still remind themselves to position the cow, and to drive up.

The importance of reminding yourself to do these two pieces … and doing them … cannot be overstated.

KEY POINTS for driving up:

In Part 4 of this multiple part series, I will talk about putting your hand down and working the cow. See you then!