Positioning your horse with the cow is one of the most important things when it comes to cutting. It’s a challenge to all cutters, and one that Hall of Fame Rider Kobie Wood can help you with.
Wood has won more than $5.3 Million in the show pen, and holds an impressive five World Champion titles. His most recent success came after campaigning Cool N’ Hot, one of the industry’s hottest young sires, to become the 2018 NCHA Open Horse of The Year.
CHTO was excited to add Wood to our featured trainer line up on the website. In his popular video series, one of his most important tips is how to position your horse with the cow.
“I don’t like to cut a cow straight up,” Wood said. “I like to cut a cow parallel if it’s at all possible. That way I get my horse [to] where he’s not standing still, and then I want him to find his way in there.”
“Position is everything and that’s all I want to do is get positioned so they can’t beat me,” said Wood.
One of Wood’s main goals when working a horse is getting them to stop where he asks them to, and to keep them free and willing while listening to his feet. Before working cows, he works the freshness off them on the flag.
His next step is “keeping their feet to the fire.” “A lot of [those] horses you let them go over there and stop and they just get to where they don’t come out of there and get ahold of the cow. Well, I want him stopping, backing up and wondering where he’s going next. I don’t want him to blow off and get back off the cow. I want to hold his feet [and] hold that cow,” explained Wood.
During this demonstration on the video, Wood didn’t have turn-back help. When asked why, he explained it as a training tool. “Turn-back help can make you or hinder you. At the cuttings with our cows today, those guys [have to] get outside and just kind of show that cow back to me. I don’t like that when I’m working a young horse or just trying to get the edge off. I want just this.”
“The other thing it created is you get to do more.” “You get to work both sides of the cow” he explained. “I don’t have to stay on the inside of the cow. I can work the outside of a cow working like this and then when it tightens down I can stay to the inside [of the cow].”
Wood described how turn-back help can take away from the cow, and tend to make it unnatural.
“There was nobody hindering what the cow was thinking and if you can cut a cow and nobody hinders that thinking, you can get a lot more out of it with it not being scared, [and] you could work a lot longer and you can usually get [closer to] the winner’s circle.”
“I train a horse for the feel of what I need him to do,” Wood said. “You can’t just write it down on a piece of paper.”
Watch the entire video of Kobie Wood on www.chtolive.com.