Kylie Barnett has been around horses her whole life. Her background is in camp drafting (an Australian sport that shares some similarities with reined cow horse) which goes back to her grandfather, but she has always enjoyed watching cutting at the Australian NCHA Futurity. She was watching the Futurity sale and saw a mare she liked that wasn’t going for much so she decided to take a chance and buy her!
A friend, trainer Hugh Miles helped her to show the mare in the cutting pen. Within the next year, Barnett had a baby and decided to enter her mare in the Derby. She only had 3 months to learn how to cut with her hand down! Barnett was proud to make the finals.
Barnett said the toughest thing about going from camp drafting to cutting is the fact that you can’t pick up the reins to make adjustments in cutting, that you can only do so with your feet. The equipment is different, they don’t use a saddle horn in camp drafting and it’s not as expensive as cutting she said. “It’s also tricky to have to put yourself out there and learn something new,” Barnett said.
Juggling the two sports has been challenging with her and her partner’s main business being in camp drafting. Camp drafting is every weekend so it can be hard to attend a cutting show.
Barnett worked with Australia’s leading trainer, Todd Graham who helped her with her timing and making those small adjustments. Her goal is to train a few snaffle bit horses as well as a cutter.
Her greatest memory was in 2018 where she made the Non Pro Derby Futurity finals. She also had a mare in training with Hugh Miles who made the open finals on her.
Why Kylie uses CHTO:
“…If I’m in the middle of training a horse that I’m struggling with or not quite connecting with I’ll flick through the videos and see what different training techniques or different methods people have and then I’ll go out and try that and if that feels good I’ll keep at it. And when I was pregnant it was a massive help because I couldn’t get on [the horse] and get the hands on experience. At the moment I’ve been using it quite a bit, I’ll set it up on the laptop and watch it while I’m cooking. I’ve got young kids so I just watch it when I can. I watch at least once a week, sometimes 2-3 times a day…”