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Cutting Horse Training News

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. 

Keep on Reading!


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.

Keep on Reading!


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.

Keep on Reading!


Hauling A Horse? The Mandate That May Require You To Get A Commercial Drivers License!

May 16th, 2018 by Simone Cobb

You thought you were involved in the horse industry? It seems the Federal Government may actually define you as a commercial truck driver.

According to the Commercial Drivers License law written in 1986, anyone driving a vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds and above is required to carry a CDL whether it’s for recreational or agricultural purposes. So you might have to go sit for your commercial license test just to haul your horses to a show!

Protect The Harvest Representative, Shawn Burtenshaw

Shawn Burtenshaw, a Representative for Protect the Harvest, explains how the CDL law requirements plus a 2012 Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate could affect how you travel, but is here to educate and help you!

“The law that was implemented [in 2012], which would be referred to as the ‘ELD Mandate,’ is an electronic device put in your vehicle to monitor your drive times between point A and point B and throughout the day,” Burtenshaw said. “So if you’re in a pickup and horse trailer traveling, hauling horses to shows it’s your business… it puts you as a commercial driver to where you’d have to have an electronic logging device in your pickup to haul your horses to shows.”

SO not only would you be required to carry a commercial drivers license, but you would also be required to log your trips and abide by ELD rules. However, advancements in vehicles and the hauling industry have changed vastly since these were written, creating a few complicated issues.

“The problem is this law was written in 1986, when a one-ton pickup was 8600 pounds,” Burtenshaw said. “It was never intended to umbrella over pickups and trailers but today when this is enforced through, the ELD really brought attention to these weights because the law is still at 26,001 pounds; which in 1986 was a Class 7 truck, today it’s a pickup. Gross vehicle weight ratings since 1986 to 2018 have increased 60% but the law stayed the same so that’s where people get caught in it with a pickup and horse truck.”

Adding to the complexity are states that have different regulations and classifications of a CDL, where in some states it’s a simple process, while in others it is extremely difficult.

“We’d like to see that not happen because these people are not commercial drivers, they’re horse trainers, they’re rodeo cowboys, they’re ranchers, they’re farmers, they’re not a commercial driver,” Burtenshaw said. “So why should they need to go get a CDL and be monitored the same as a over-the-road truck driver when they’re just driving their horse to a horse show?”

Another issue that will place an onerous burden on drivers is the tracking and monitoring that o

Electronic Logging Devices (above) required for commercial drivers to log all stops and track drive times, and requires breaks after certain amounts of driving.

ccurs with the electronic logging device.

“It is extreme inconvenience,” Burtenshaw said. “It becomes a personal issue of privacy to tell you the truth, I don’t want to be monitored how fast I’m going, where I’ve stopped, how long I’ve stopped. I don’t want to be told when I need to stop and use the restroom, I don’t need to be told when I need to stop and eat, I don’t need to be told when I stop and sleep. The hours of service that you have to comply by when you have an electronic logging device in your pickup and you have live animals on your trailer, you can’t stop for ten hours consecutively, you have to keep going.”

From December of 2017, there is a 12-month exemption to the rule for agriculture when live animals are being transported.

“So that means that hopefully within the coming year that maybe different hours of service can be written,” Burtenshaw said. “These laws need review because it’s not 1986 anymore. The biggest thing I’m trying to do right now at Protect The Harvest are get people engaged and get them educated to where they’re going to fall in this mandate or these CDL requirements, what classifies them as a commercial motor vehicle.”

On the Protect The Harvest website it also states that a “Not For Hire” sign on your rig will not protect you if it is determined that your truck and trailer fit into the commercial category or are being used for commercial purposes. Nor will it protect you if you are driving a vehicle and trailer that requires a commercial license. The law also affects young drivers and will put the brakes on anyone under 18 hauling a horse or anyone under 21 crossing state lines to go a rodeo or show.

“To be intrastate (within your state) you have to be 18 years-old to get a commercial drivers license and to go interstate (to cross state lines) you have to be 21 years old. 87% of the college rodeo kids are under the age of 21 and every college rodeo around the United States kids have to cross across state lines,” he said.

If the mandate alarms you, Burtneshaw said go to protecttheharvest.com and read the highlighted version of the 200 page mandate, which has been narrowed down to the key points. Another suggestion is to spread the word and lobby your local representatives.

“Call your congressman, get a hold of your senator, get everybody in government whose connected to you, because those government officials work for you,” Burtenshaw said. “Let them know where you stand on these issues, let them know that these need review. The more people who write their letters, call their representatives, make some noise about it to get this changed.”

“It’s laws like this that keep restricting our industry. Usually it happens and nobody knew about this..well we’re gonna tell you right now it’s happening,” Burtenshaw said. “Please take action, get involved, become engaged, voice your opinion, and help us move forward with getting this rewritten.”


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