Why Cowboys Should Wear Pantyhose….

May 24th, 2014 by CHTO

Boils on your backside are not fun.

I should know, my husband brewed up a monster that caused agony for us all one summer.

Saddle sore?

If you’ve spent a long time in a saddle or even a bike during the hotter months, then you probably know what I’m talking about.

It got so bad he couldn’t sit down. The doctor couldn’t lance it because it was unfortunately too deep.

It’s not the most manly of ailments, bending your husband over to give him a hot poultice and a turmeric tonic!

Oh! If only he’d worn pantyhose under his jeans, this may never have happened!

Seriously, boils are painful problems that can stop us riding momentarily. Why do people get them?

When it’s hot and we sweat, our pores and hair follicles can get clogged with sweat and dirt when they are being constantly rubbed by something like a saddle or bike seat.

The best way to treat a boil is to put a hot soak, hot pack or hot compress on the boil which can bring some comfort and improve blood circulation to fight off the infection.

One of the most effective and least known treatments is turmeric. Turmeric can help dissolve and heal boils in as little as three days. It has anti-inflammatory and blood purifying effects on the body. Take one teaspoon of turmeric powder in warm water three times a day or buy turmeric capsules. You can also make a paste with the turmeric powder and place it directly on the boil and cover it with gauze.

Don’t try to pop it as you may push it further in. Wait until it forms a head and have a doctor lance it (you don’t want to cause further infection).

And of course to prevent them forming – besides good hygiene, pantyhose can help. Cut off the legs and wear them under your jeans to eliminate rubbing against the saddle. Bike pants also work though they may be a little hotter. You never know, you might end up enjoying it!

Saddle Sore

Butt Cream anyone?

Have you suffered this problem and how did you treat it? What are your proven home remedies? How do you prevent them? Have you ever done the pantyhose trick? Is there a magic saddle sore butt cream you’ve used? Post your comments below.


When He Proposed On Horseback…

February 12th, 2014 by CHTO

He was under pressure to be original. She hated red roses, soft toys and cheesy Hallmark cards.

He was going for the element of surprise. She could sniff out contrived romance a mile away.

He was a cowboy. She could barely ride.

It could have been the date from hell, but he pulled off a date with destiny!

He’d organized a casual ride on the prairie. The rugged beauty of the Canadian Rockies provided a stunning backdrop and the shining sun helped calm his nerves.

They were laughing and getting along famously, she was even managing to move forward on her mount (without too much cussing at him)!

Then they came to the stream. He held his breath. She was going in the wrong direction! “Cross back here” he quickly yelled. Suddenly she saw a snake near the horse’s hind legs, she yanked on the reins and for a moment the horse looked ready to rear. Disaster seemed imminent.

Fortunately, the snake never gave them the time of day and away he went. A few deep breaths later, she attempted to cross the stream again. Half way through, another surge of adrenalin brought her to a screeching halt!

Written in carefully-placed white stones along the creek bed were the words: “Will You Marry Me?”

As I’ve already given away, the story had a happy ending, complete with a champagne picnic among the wild yellow marigold flowers and the curious prairie dogs that kept popping their heads out of the ground like an arcade game.

(By the way – it is a true story, without naming names.)

So it’s hard to go wrong when you propose on horseback. Romance takes on it’s own spontaneity and the element of danger always helps to heat things up! Food for thought with Valentines Day just around the corner.

Have you ever gotten romantic on horseback? How did it work out? How do you stay original on Valentines Day? We’d love to hear your experiences, your triumphs and tragedies in the dating game. Comment below.



Is Micro-Chipping necessary in the Cutting Horse Industry?

November 5th, 2013 by CHTO

It’s always alarmed me at how exposed we leave our valuable horses to thieves, in unlocked stalls or pastures (although most thieves can’t catch a cold let alone a horse in a pasture). Are we too complacent?

I believe it’s law in some European countries to have horse’s micro-chipped with a  passport! With many neighboring countries and a lot of international traveling going on constantly, it makes sense.

So what is micro-chipping and what are the costs?
A microchip, an electronic device the size of a rice grain implanted invisibly in your horse’s neck, can provide him permanent identification. Etched with a unique number and encapsulated in glass, the chip (shown here enlarged) is inserted with a syringe. It can be activated by a hand-held radio-frequency scanner, which then reads the number. It functions for 25 years or longer.
Electronic ID can also improve infectious disease surveillance. In Louisiana, a program that mandates permanent identification in conjunction with a negative Coggins test proving the horse is EIA (Equine Infectious Anemia)-free has decreased the state’s incidence of EIA by 70 per cent.

When a horse is stolen or missing you can then report it to law enforcement and they will contact a number of Equine Protection Registry network affiliates such as brand inspectors, and Stolen Horse International etc.
The microchip however does not enable your horse to be located using GPS tracking equipment or satellite because the chip has no power source. So if your horse is stolen, the only way it will be found is if your horse is scanned by the thief or the new owner!!
The actual cost of having the microchip placed in the horse is relatively inexpensive however registering the horse with various agencies and affiliates may make it less cost-effective.
Is the microchip only going to really deter theft when a GPS tracking system can be used? Or maybe we need to have our horses micro-chipped now to prevent substitution scandals like the Fine Cotton case in the Australian Thoroughbred industry in 1985 (The  horse Fine Cotton was substituted with another look-alike horse before a race and it won). So many scenarios, so many reasons!
Have you had any experience with identifying animals individually for either theft protection, disease prevention or reducing the incidence of horse swaps in competition and sales? Are there other ways this could benefit the cutting horse industry? Or do you see it as simply another expense, another way for middle men to make money and no real outcome is achieved? We’d love to hear your thoughts below!


April 29th, 2013 by CHTO


Is it a generational thing, lack of a work ethic or too little pay and no appreciation?

Nearly every day on face book you see a posting: “ Looking for a Loper” from many cutting horse operations around the world! I’m not sure if it’s similar in other equine disciplines but it’s certainly a concern in the cutting horse industry.

Lopers are the first to the barn and the last to leave. There’s a lot of pressure, and the hours are long. Their job description varies but ultimately they are responsible for the health and wellness of the barn (blanketing, icing legs, sweating, turning out etc) not to mention warming the horses up for showing, a process that can take an hour at a time.

The preparation of a finally tuned cutting horse for competition is as important as selecting what cows to cut. A horse that’s too fresh will most likely over react to the cow, miss his stop and zig when he should have zagged! This of course can mean the difference between winning a check or losing one!

As most of us know, both trainers and owners find it in-excusable if a horse is too fresh for competition. It’s one of the only few controllable variables we have in this sport. I think the heart-rate of a loper usually triples as he or she hands the horse to the trainer and watches them cross the time line, wondering if they will still have a job in two and half minutes time.

The long hours and dedication required is not new to our industry. But has it always been this difficult to find and keep good lopers? Are they under paid? Has the younger generation become less willing to do the hard yards or are there simply too many better opportunities elsewhere?

The hours may be long, but there are rewards. The sport of cutting is not a job, it’s a lifestyle. Picturesque sunrises, big trucks, beautiful horses, team work and the thrill of a winning ride! It’s why so many people are drawn to working horses and the ranching life in the first place. But has the financial burden of cutting stopped us smelling the roses so to speak?

If our pool of lopers continue to diminish, where will our next generation of trainers come from? And who are trainers going to live vicariously through, with no loper antics after hours!!

Should we introduce National Service for lopers, give them more money or love on them more? We’d like to hear your thoughts!

Our 15 Minutes…. while the Fame may be Fleeting…the Adventure was not!

November 5th, 2012 by CHTO

Would you drive 12 hours in an RV with your wife and kids, your in-laws and a cat to be a guest on an hour-long TV show? I know, most people would think that’s crazy. But what’s a mad Aussie cutting horse trainer to do?

So with my sanity seriously in doubt, we set off  for Nashville TN at sunrise loaded to the hilt (you know clothes line dangling out the window behind us), country music blasting and the kids excited for a fast-food breakfast (to the the disgust of my health-freak wife). The Fort Worth/Dallas rush-hour traffic completely tests out my newly-acquired RV-driving skills. Everyone including the cat is car sick before we even leave the Metroplex.

Finally cruising up interstate 30, just starting to relax and take a sip on my steaming hot coffee, when “BAM”! Narrowly avoiding 3rd -degree burns, I drop the coffee, and manage to get the RV off the road without flipping it.  A blow out. Fortunately we find a tire repair center with our particular hard-to-find tires, and two hours later get on the road again!

Optimism a little dented but intact, I say “See how well she handled that blowout! What a great buy this RV was! It’ll be smooth sailing from here”. Famous last words…

After being on the road 12 hours, we’re just 20 miles from Montgomery Bell State Park, TN, when I glance at my gauges. For some reason my diesel tank is dead empty. “There is no way this could be right as I only filled up 200 miles ago” I think, “the gauge must be broken”. I wonder should I keep going because we are nearly there or should I check it just in case? Sometimes getting older has its benefits, so I play it safe and pull off the interstate. I  jump out, look underneath and sure enough diesel is gushing out like the mighty Mississippi. “Oh @#$%&….!” By now it’s dark, raining, we are in the middle of nowhere and my tool box is about as useful as a hillbilly busker’s spoon collection!

I must have woken every diesel mechanic within 60 miles that night when finally at midnight one old boy says “son it’s your lucky night because I’m working on an engine like yours right now, I’ll be there at 7am”. After a fitful night sleeping over the running generator (had to keep the fridge running apparently), it’s morning and the mechanics are nowhere to be seen.

Nine am, still no mechanic, he’s not answering his phone and I’m laying under the RV in a puddle, while my father in-law holds the i-phone as a flashlight while we try to fix the problem.

I’m  still under the RV covered in diesel when this beat-up pickup truck skids to stop in a puddle, splashing water on the only part of my clothes that are dry.  Two toothless old boys jump out in overalls and ask if I’m the one who needs help from last night! Biting down the urge for sarcasm, I ask them if they have any hose.  One of the brothers let’s out an almighty belch, scratches his basketball-sized belly under his overalls and says “Yep” while the other brother shuffles over and fishes out a stub of hose under the pile of bud-light cans in the back of the pick-up. I could have hugged them, dead-racoon smell and all!

Fifteen minutes later we drive in slow-motion to the nearest Diesel station 11 miles away. Overjoyed to make it, we pull in and read the sign on the diesel bowser “pump broken.” It’s two hours from airtime on RuralTV and we look more like the cast from survivor than guests on Horse Talk Live. Optimism severely battered!

“Hi I’m Lizzie Iwerson and welcome to RFDTV, how was your trip?”  Well put it this way, it took us 28 hours to make a trip that normally takes 11 hours and we didn’t take the scenic route!!

After the challenges of getting there, nerves were the last thing on our minds. Lizzie and all of the RFDTV team are great to work with and the show is a great success. Although I bet the cameramen are still talking about that tight Australian who wears diesel as deodorant!

We have two great days at Montgomery Bell State Park which has a beautiful camping site nestled among the trees with leaves all shades of red, orange and gold. The kids fish for crawfish in the stream while my father in-law and I spend most of the time trying to ride my son’s rip stick, much to the entertainment of fellow campers.

But our idyllic respite soon comes to an end and we pack up the RV for the 12 hour trip home. “Twelve hours”, I keep telling myself, “It’s only going to take 12 hours”. At 3pm outside Texarkana, about to hit the home stretch and “BAM!” “Oh Crap” I moan, “Bam” again????”

I’m not going to bore you with details of this tiresome tire changing episode. All that I will say is we spend the night on the side of the road again. The next day, we finally find a tire place that has our “special” type of tires. Six hours later, four new tires later, and $$$$ later (we weren’t spending another night like that again!) we hit that interstate and do not look back till we pull up in our driveway.  Thankful to be home, we go to unlock the front door and realize, no-one’s put a house key on the RV keyring!!!!

You can watch our interview on Horse Talk Live below:


We’d love to hear your thoughts about the show so please enter your comments below. Everyone who watches and emails us the names of three featured trainers on the program will get a 50% discount on their next (or first) month’s membership. Email us at customerservice@chtolive.com

“CRIKEY” My horse has a Snake Bite!

October 4th, 2012 by CHTO

You would have thought with last year’s blistering summer in Texas that a horse would have been more susceptible to a snake bite. On the first day of Fall (last Saturday) I went to the barn and found my three year old Highbrowcat filly spinning in circles with her nose pointed out. I thought she might be suffering from colic, rehearsing for an audition on Dancing with the Stars or showing me she is a better reiner than a cutting horse.

Once I caught her I looked at her nose and sure enough it was beginning to swell and there was a little blood on one of her nostrils.  She either smacked her nose in the stall or had received a snake bite. Being an adept snake handler, I went and fossicked round in her feeder but found nothing.

I called my vet and unbelievably he was there within 10 minutes! Talk about an efficient house call (literally! Ok I’ll come clean – for those unaware I train horses at Jeff Foland’s ranch, he’s a DVM from Weatherford Equine). So anyway, her head had lowered by now so we knelt down to look at it and straight away Jeff thought it was either a black widow spider or a snake bite.

For some reason, I glanced back over at the feeder and low and be hold there was a snake coiled up under her feeder just where I had been standing a few minutes earlier. “Crikey” I said, “a copper head!”

I couldn’t believe how docile it was, because the snakes back home in Australia, deadly or not, will take off as soon as they feel your presence, often giving one a false sense of bravado. This snake was that indifferent (or cocky) that it had no plans to flee the crime scene. Jeff put his foot on it just behind its head and I used the shovel. Yes, it was not a moment to make Steve Irwin proud.

“I have no fear of losing my life – if I have to save a koala or a crocodile or a kangaroo or a snake, mate, I will save it.” – Steve Irwin

Nope, sure as hell wasn’t going with that quote, the one below is more like it!

“You know, you can touch a stick of dynamite, but if you touch a venomous snake it’ll turn around and bite you and kill you so fast it’s not even funny.” – Steve Irwin

Fortunately we thought the bite had probably just happened in the last 20 minutes (as my finely-honed animal intuition was telling me!). Jeff said the biggest danger to a horse bitten on the nose is swelling – not the venom itself. He said we had to make sure the nostrils don’t swell shut causing suffocation, so he gave her some anti-inflammatories, Ketofen and Dexamethasone.

Sometimes if the swelling keeps rising vets will sew a plastic syringe into the nostril to keep the horse breathing. From what I understand, many horses bitten by a snake die from suffocation not from the venom. I’ve heard it’s more common for them to be bitten on the nose when grazing than on the leg. I’m not sure about this, but you are welcome to add your feed back about your experiences with horses and snake bites.  The swelling is determined by how poisonous the snake is and how much venom is injected.

The next concern was infection from the bite so Jeff gave the mare a course of Gentamicin and Penicillin. Dr Foland was very surprised at how quickly she recovered, saying he’d never seen a horse improve so quickly. Hence we figured it because she had only just been bitten when we found her (okay so I’m not an animal psychic).

Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos, I guess it really wasn’t on my mind as I was busy trying to save my horse!

I should mention that training horses for a vet definitely has its advantages, especially when they haven’t gone to work yet. Not only that, my filly thought he had a great bedside manner!

What are you experiences/stories with horses and snake bites? Click on the comments below.

Could Cutting Become an Olympic Sport?

August 30th, 2012 by CHTO

Apparently the Olympic committee has been approached to include, wait for it, pole dancing at the next Olympics in Rio! I guess ticket sales would be solid and the venue would be cheap to erect.

You may ask why am I talking about this? Well after watching much of the Olympics we wondered how many countries we had represented on our site. In just two months since we launched, we have members from eight different countries (nine if you include one from Afghanistan which I’m pretty certain was a mistake from the drop down menu when they joined LOL!). Those countries span all parts of the globe from North America, to South America, South East Asia (which includes Australia and New Zealand) and a number of European countries including Sweden! So the question is: will we ever see cutting as an Olympic Sport? The relevance to pole dancing? Not much, except both sports can grab hold of a horn…

In all seriousness, what a great promotion for the sport and what a goal for all of us to strive for. Is it realistic? I don’t think so, as any sport’s introduction to the world stage is all determined by TV ratings. Even if everyone of our active 30,000 NCHA members worldwide were watching, the numbers would still pale in comparison to the spectators for sports such as beach volleyball, soccer or pole dancing.

The hardest issue our industry has, to become an international sport, is that people off the street don’t easily understand how the winner is determined. A successful international sport needs at least one of three ingredients to attract TV coverage and big sponsorship:
1. Grass roots support where a lot of people play recreationally and can appreciate the skill it takes to be great, such as golf.
2. Easy to follow and understand. The viewer can determine who the winner is, for example racing, where first across the line wins or those with most goals etc.
3. Danger, nothing excites a crowd more than a little or a lot of risk-taking, like bull riding.

People appreciate the power and beauty of the horse in our sport but it’s difficult for them to get their adrenalin pumping because of the technicalities. Of course, we need these technicalities to differentiate between the highly competitive riders and determine the winner. But is it holding our sport back?

Many sports have been re-invented to inject more excitement and spectators into the game while the original game is still preserved, think Rugby 7s and one-day cricket. I don’t have any answers on how we could make cutting more accessible for the average person but I do believe if we could come up with a recipe our sport would not have to be so dependent on membership fees and sponsorship.

But on the flip side, why tinker with something that ain’t broke? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Could we or even should we make cutting a sexier sport to the masses? (When I say sexier I don’t mean putting girls in volleyball swimsuits on horses – I mean make it more exciting to the mainstream audience.) If so, what are your thoughts on how this could happen? You can be as serious or creative as you like. In fact, we’re going to have a little competition: the two best answers, the one who’s given this the most serious consideration and the one who’s come up with the most humorous suggestion will each win a second month of membership at 50% off.

Why cuttinghorsetrainingonline.com ?

August 11th, 2012 by CHTO

Simple! To give cutters from around the world access to the best. How else do we get better at what we love? That was the reason behind my move from Australia to the States; to further my knowledge and learn from the top trainers. It’s an adventure I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. But most people can’t move to where many of the elite trainers are. And could you imagine if they did? Picture thousands of eager cutters turning up at John Mitchell’s ranch or Jason Clark’s arena to watch or get a lesson.

Enthusiastic spectator: “Excuse me Mr Mitchell, would you mind just moving your chaps out of the way so I can see what your feet are doing while you cut that cow?”

or “Could you cut that really good cow again Mr Clark, I missed it while I ate my donut?”

Needless to say it would be a logistical nightmare not to mention how it would go down with the trainers! Even laid-back Gary Gonsalves would flip his lid! 

So we bring you CuttingHorseTrainingOnline.com. Born out of a desire to give anyone interested in this great sport of cutting an opportunity to connect with and learn from the best in the easiest most convenient way possible.

It also allows you to get to know more about what goes into training and what the trainers actually do – it gives you more insight into their programs, helps you understand why they do what they do, because for most cutters around the world they only see the trainers in the show pen, which doesn’t always give you the complete picture.

As we all know there are many ways to skin a cat and the same goes for training a cutting horse (shown by the range of people who win) So CuttingHorseTrainingOnline.com is not about who is right or wrong. It’s about showing you behind the scenes, what different trainers do at home every day in an informal setting to improve their horses and show well.  It’s about keeping it real so everyone can relate to it. We all have different styles of riding and training and different ways of learning, so it’s our mission to offer you a range of trainers and subjects so you can find who and what you resonate with. 

There is so much to this sport than just training and showing, so our focus on education encompasses a lot more than than what goes on in the arena, like the health and well-being of our horses and cattle.

 We’ve been really enjoying travelling the country and are so appreciative of how the industry has embraced the concept. We look forward to heading further afield like Australia, Europe and Brazil etc to feature the leading trainers there and show what’s happening in the local industries.

I must admit – this hasn’t been an easy ride! I finally had to embrace the information age by getting an iphone, more computers (my dining table now has four laptops!), camera, editing software etc to put this site together – Talk about challenging a cowboy! Fortunately I have a supportive wife who has spent countless hours at the Apple store and in front of the computer covering the technical side. I’m still training 2-year-olds for the public out of Jen and Jeff Foland’s place at Weatherford TX and believe I have benefited greatly with my own program by watching these videos and I hope you guys do too.

So we’d love to hear from you, what you’re experiencing and what you’d like to see more of on CuttingHorseTrainingOnline.com

CuttingHorseTrainingOnline.com launches site July, 2012

August 2nd, 2012 by CHTO

Live and kicking….please give us your feedback. Send to customerservice@chtolive.com, we want to know what you think, what you would like to see in the future and anything else you would like to share!


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