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?
“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.”
Do you try and stay away from breeds or colors?
“You know when somebody says something like that you get a little leery of it. But you know, the other thing is you’ve got to kind of judge and feel, and take the color off of them.” Wood explained. Wood said, “Generally I have more trouble with blacks.” They’re ones that I don’t like the best but you know every once in a while like at the Super Steaks, I found a Hereford and she was good. She is one that was you know, kind of stay off away from you and give you a challenge and you know, she told me she was good. So I just kicked her color out and went by what she acted like.”
How important is it to you that you cut from three cows that you sort of like the best if they’re still on the list?
“A list is created for me so [that] I don’t forget anything,” Wood explained. “Which ones do I like the best out of those six or eight? Which one I’m going to put first or second or third? Or which one I can even get out there to make a cut at and [have] the best scenario. I always try to take two of those. So you got two alternates instead of just one.” If you got two shots, it’s a lot better than one shot.
What’s your opinion on the great horses back then and the great horses now?”
“I mean we have to have that stage step so we can get to where we are today because those guys had a vision and then these new guys [have] got a different vision.” “We had to have that to get to where we are today. And yeah the great horses like Doc O’Lena and all them, Smart Little Lena, all them they were all there for a purpose [so] that we could get here. But when you take those horses [and compare them] with the horses today, I mean, I don’t know how you could even compare them because different cows, different trainers, different situations. But they’ve got some real cow horses today to just like they had real cow horses, but we’ve had to go through a stage to get all that.” “A real cow horse, you can’t take that cow out. He’s got it no matter what and that’s what I like to see is a real cow horse,” Wood exclaimed. “When you cut a cow and you turn the horse loose, it’s 50% him and 50% you. But when it gets down to the real fast and the gritty and that horse has to take over, there’s got to be 75% the horse and 25% you, and you better be out of his way.”
So what’s the secret to do training a horse to be able to do that?
“A horse. It tells you that he can. Like my stud, he tells me he can take over,” Wood said. “If I allow it, he’ll take over. I just got to stay out of his way [and] not create any problems. And I guess that all starts at home, letting him take control in the train-ing. But that horse you know, how a horse [when] they want to take over they take over, and if you show them the right procedures, they can take over. They’ll take over when it’s needed.”
Watch this full video at chtolive.com!