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Cutting Horse Training News

Cutting In The Holy Land!

August 9th, 2019 by Sophia Skeith

Sarig Brosh Cutting

Who would have thought, in a country barely the size of New Jersey and located in the Middle East, that there is a flourishing performance horse scene that even includes a cutting group which shows five times a year?

Sarig Brosh has been training horses for over 20 years. His student, Yafit Junker, has been riding horses for six years.

“I took my first riding lesson six years ago, and about a year later I was brought to Brosh to make him laugh….I find cutting as addictive and progressive. I started with a frequency of once a week and very soon it became my everyday routine,”  Junker said.

Junker purchased a horse and very soon one horse turned into three and now Junker is a lifer in all things horses and a cutter to boot.

Her trainer Brosh spent two years in the United States learning about training horses. One year of that was spent breaking colts and roping, and another year learning to train cutting horses from Terry Harlen from Texas.

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Trainer’s Corner: James Payne

July 5th, 2019 by Sophia Skeith

From Overbook, Oklahoma, James Payne has been operating his ranch and training for the public out of his own facility since 2008. After a long line of training reining horses for Dick Piper, he eventually fell in love with the cutting industry with the help of the Pipers and the spectacular horse Playgun!

Payne’s persistent attitude is what drives him to continue his hard work ethic in the pen. No-one would ride more horses every day than this gritty trainer. His primary training philosophy is to, “Be there everyday and grind, with a lot of repetition,”.

This is evident in his impressive results. James has been a multi NCHA Futurity Finalist, as well the 2012 NCHA Super Stakes Reserve Champion, the 2012 and 2014 NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic Champion, 2018 NCHA Summer Spectacular Open Classic CHAMPION riding PG Heavily Armed and the 2018 NCHA OPEN WORLD FINALS AGGREGATE CHAMPION on PG HEAVILY ARMED, to name some of many titles.
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Get Coached With Matt Gaines

July 1st, 2019 by Simone Cobb

Eight-million-dollar trainer Matt Gaines is a big believer in coaching. It’s why he and other leading trainers go to each other’s ranches to work horses: to learn from each other and pick up on things they may not be seeing or feeling themselves.

In fact, our featured trainers make use of CHTO videos to keep abreast of what other trainers are doing, so they are not left behind and to help stay competitive. It’s also why he likes to give clinics. Simply put, coaching produces success!

It’s why all professional sports have coaches as Gaines has repeatedly pointed out, cutting is no different.

“I can look back over my career and there has been numerous times when I have felt out of sync or my own program doesn’t feel right. I will call people who I know share the same theory of cutting and same basis of the program,” Matt explained.He tells how his experience with contacting other trainers, such as Paul Hansma or John Mitchell, in times of need has helped him realize the small training habits that may need to be tweaked. In Gaines opinion, that one adjustment can be the catalyst for lots of improvements to come.
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Russell McCord- A Quest For Fairness

June 4th, 2019 by Sophia Skeith

Being judged is always emotional, even when you choose to be judged in the name of competition. Subjective sports are often rife with controversy, because let’s face it, everyone has an opinion. Cutting is no exception.

Judging only works when there is a clearly understood system governed by rules, enacted by experts, and most importantly, is delivered consistently. You could say, this has been the overriding mission of Russell McCord for more than 30 years!

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Member Spotlight – Lica Pinkston

May 3rd, 2019 by Nevada Huffman

Lica Pinkston is no stranger to the hard work it requires to run a successful cattle ranch.

Lica Pinkston

That same work ethic has brought Pinkston great success in the cutting arena.

Pinkston, born and raised in Texas, has been around cattle and horses her whole life. Her cattle ranch lies just north of the border in Alice, Texas. Although cutting horses has been a part of her family’s history, Pinkston credits her son, 15 years ago, for bringing her into the sport.

“My son was riding bulls in high school rodeo at the time and wanted another event. So we bought a cutting horse,” she said.

Shortly after, her son decided to move on to different things.

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Trainer’s Corner: Turner West

May 3rd, 2019 by Nevada Huffman

We welcome talented two year old trainer Turner West to the CHTO fold! Based in Weatherford, TX, Turner operates a thriving business out of Chris Johnsrud’s Cutting horse facility that employs several assistant trainers.

With 14 years of experience, Turner has worked for Phil Rapp, John Mitchell and
David Costello. His wife Lauren also assists Turner as well running her own baby clothing company called Cowbaby Gear. The busy couple has two young boys.

Turner has started numerous NCHA and NRCHA Champions such as Crey Zee, Tornado Watch, One Shiney Metallic, Metallic Chrome Cat and many more. He has also trained some of the top selling horses in the Western Bloodstock NCHA Futurity Sales that have gone on to have
successful careers.

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Bringing Back Cutting To NY State

May 3rd, 2019 by Nevada Huffman

Staff Sargent Amber Roberts has poured her life into honorably serving her country. Now her mission is to grow the sport of cutting in the New England and help others develop a passion for it like hers. This feat hasn’t proved easy as cutting horses have been slim
to nonexistent in her region. Predominately in New York State, disciplines consist of

Amber Roberts

dressage, and hunter jumper and some ranch sorting.

Roberts grew up in Wisconsin. Her parents bred someof the top Buckskin all-around performance horses in the mid-west including an International Buckskin Horse Association (IBHA) Supreme Champion and multiple IBHA Congress Champions.

However, Roberts shifted gears and joined the United States Army. Being stationed and deployed overseas for 10 of the 14 years of active duty, Roberts longed for the adrenalin rush of riding a horse. On a short visit home, she rode her first cutter and was instantly hooked!

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CHTO Member Spotlight – Hannah Venne

April 1st, 2019 by Nevada Huffman

 For Hannah Venne, horses have always been the center of her life.

“My dad used to try to sign me up for all different sports, “she said, “but according to my mom and I, the barn is where I needed to be.”

From dressage to hunter jumper and onto Polo Cross, Venne has done it all. At 17 years old, Polo Cross brought Hannah Venne to Burnett, TX.

In a twist of fate, Hannah’s search for a Polo Cross Horse on Craigslist led her to a little black mare that was advertised as a finished cutting horse.” Venne soon realized her new mare was “not so finished.” Knowing very little about cutting, she turned to trainer Mike Crumpler for lessons.
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Kobie Wood Part 2 – The Million Dollar Question?

April 1st, 2019 by Nevada Huffman

 In our February Newsletter, CHTO featured Hall of Fame Rider Kobie Wood’s training program. He explained how to position your horse with the cow and interestingly, how he believes using turn-back help at home hinders his horse from cowing up. Wood is the reining Super Stakes Derby Champion. He won the title in 2018 aboard Cool N’ Hot. This month we delve deeper with Part II where he focuses on the cow. When it comes to cattle, Wood describes them as “The million dollar question?”

What do you look for when picking cattle?

Kobie Wood on Cool N Hot

“You want to pick a cow that’s not real lazy and you want to pick one that’s so alert you can’t get ahold of her in the back of the herd. So you’ve got to find that middle of the road cow that’s got enough eye appeal and enough move that [it] will look at you and honor you without trying to run you over.” “I can keep the dance,” Wood describes it. “I can keep it moving if I can find a cow that’ll let me stop and I can draw it in or I can push it away and they’ll still come back to me.”

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Member Spotlight – Lauren Balog, Paauilo, Hawaii

February 21st, 2019 by Nevada Huffman

Lauren Balog has been fortunate to grow up on the beautiful big Island of Hawaii. Balog found her passion for horses as a young 12-year-old girl and has never looked back. Her grandfather, who was a rancher, set the tone for Lauren becoming a “horse-crazy”kid and an equine enthusiast for life. 

Lauren Balog pictured on the right.

After completing college in Colorado, Balog returned to Hawaii and quickly dived into more riding lessons. From the moment she watched her first cutting horse work, she was hooked. Balog stated, “I had never seen a horse move like that.”  

When she was ready to purchase her first cutting horse, she ended up finding the same mare she had once watched. It was a “Cinderella Story” and she immediately bought her. Balog and her mare, Magic Lady Pep, went on to have a very successful career competing in the Hawaii Island Cutting Horse Association. 

These days, Balog helps run her family business, Edwin D. Lewis Trucking and Gravel, LLC. In her spare time she continues to ride and is excited about her new babies out of some of the best mares and sires in the industry. Lauren generously contributes to the Hawaii Island Cutting Horse Association every year, always wanting to give back to the sport. The excitement of her new yearlings has sparked big plans to be back in the show ring again soon! 

Why Lauren Uses CHTO:  “When I had my 3yr old mare, CHTO kept me on track and allowed me to learn directly from trainers. CHTO is the greatest resource in the cutting horse world!” 


Kobie Wood – Part 1: Keeping Their Feet To The Fire

February 19th, 2019 by Nevada Huffman

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.

Kobie Wood on Cool N Hot

“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. 


Get Your Barn Humming – Work Flow Tips For 2019

January 14th, 2019 by Nevada Huffman

 

Duncan interviewing Kellee

Does every step you take around the barn have purpose? Do you have an efficient work flow? Does your staff know what they should be doing at any time of the day? Do you have a maintenance schedule, a vet schedule, an organized work space? Do things get put back after use? These are simple questions that can have a huge impact on how efficient your day to day operation is! 

We recently visited Slate River Ranch in Weatherford, Texas. Slate River is one of the most recognized cutting operations in our industry. Barn manager, Kellee Clarke, has been with Slate River for 9 years. She walked us through her routines that help keep everything organized and everyone on track. 

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Climbing To The Top – Kody Porterfield

December 18th, 2018 by Nevada Huffman

Kody during his winning run at the Futurity. Photo Credit: Quarter Horse News

He’s a gentle giant making a name for himself in the hallowed Will Rogers Coliseum! Kody Porterfield won his second Limited Open Futurity title in Fort Worth when he rode Cat Gethr and marked a 223.

“It feels great. It feels real good,” he said humbly.

It’s been a big year for trainer Kody Porterfield. He notched up a win in the PCCHA Intermediate Open Classic Challenge, purchased his own training facility near Weatherford TX and of course capped off the year with his Limited Futurity buckle. He also made the Open Futurity Semi Finals on the same horse.

Kody won his first Limited Futurity title in 2015 aboard This Isa Third with a 222. To put Kody’s success into perspective, he more than doubled his earnings with his first win in the Will Rogers three years ago taking home almost $17,000. Since then, the 29 year old trainer has earned approximately $265,000.

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Member Spotlight – Justin Cox

December 18th, 2018 by Nevada Huffman

Justin Cox

Justin is a Utah native. Horses haven’t always been apart of his life.

A friendly neighbor got him “hooked on a cow.” For the last three years Cutting has been a part of Justin’s life.

This past year has been especially exciting for Justin. He was awarded the Rookie of the year award in Montana. He was also the end of the year $2,000 limited rider Champion in Utah.

He credits a horse that he bought at the beginning of this year named Rocky. He has gotten him to where he’s at in his career today.

Why Justin Uses CHTO: “I can always go home after a live lesson and research tips I was given. I don’t have to ask questions, I feel like I can always find the answers on here.”


In The Judge’s Seat – Grooming The Next Generation

December 18th, 2018 by Nevada Huffman

Judging Contestants Judge a Live Class – Photo Credit: NCHA

While most cutters were focused on the exciting horseversus- cow action in the Will Rogers Coliseum at the Futurity, the NCHA was also working to hone the skills and knowledge of the next generation of judges and competitors at the annual Judging Contest. This is the third year that the NCHA has hosted this contest, but the first year that the organization opened it up to more than just collegiate teams, with many high school students also competing. Colleges, FFA teams, and 4-H teams traveled from all over the US to show off their judging prowess. Each judging contestant is required to complete a rule book test, a penalty clip test, and score two sets of 10 cutting runs.

The top 10 individuals in each division were placed in a designated area and allowed to judge one day of the World Finals. They scored them just as a regular judge would, and were awarded points based on how close they were to the official scores given by the actual judges.

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