In our February Newsletter, CHTOfeatured 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.”
Lauren Balog has been fortunate to grow up on the beautiful bigIsland of Hawaii. Balog found her passion for horses as a young12-year-old girl and has never looked back. Her grandfather, whowas 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 toHawaii and quickly dived into more riding lessons. From themoment 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, sheended 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 HorseAssociation.
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!”
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 cowstoday, 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.
More often than not, lopers come and go, but Kellee Clarke has turned loping into a satisfying career thanks to her hard work, willingness to take on new challenges and interestingly, finding an outlet for her creativity.
An Australian native, Clarke moved to the States to work with horses where for the last eight years she has been loping for John Mitchell at the Slate River Ranch. With a passion for learning and a drive for taking on more responsibility, Clarke juggles loping, running the barn and managing the ranch office while starting up her own business.
“I wanted to make leather handbags and do them all by hand,” Clarke said. “When I grew up rodeoing, I made all my own shirts..so I’ve always had this creative thing going on.”
After purchasing all the materials, Clarke found that she never had the time to actually start.
“One week I got so mad at myself because John’s wife, Hope kept asking, ‘have you made a bag yet?’ and it was really frustrating me,” Clarke said. “So one week I got super mad at myself and I said, ‘you have to finish one project by the end of the week.’’”
And since that week, Brumby Goods was born, but not in the way Clarke expected.
“I had kangaroo leather and lace because they were going to be part of my bags and I had some freshwater pearls and I had all this stuff sitting there,” Clarke said. “So I started tinkering around with it and the next thing I made a necklace with it. This long tassel necklace with these pearls on it and I was like, ‘that’s pretty cool.’”
Although Clarke hasn’t made any bags yet, she intends to expand the line later to include them.
“I had my logo and my name and everything for my business, Brumby Goods, that was all in place but the product wasn’t coming about,” Clarke said. “For now it’s evolved into jewelry.”
Clarke officially launched Brumby Goods in February this year and is keeping up with working full time for Slate River Ranch while building her jewelry line, which has quickly gained a following.
Clarke says she gets design ideas while loping.
“It’s a matter of utilizing that time loping around and to just take that time to think about something,” Clarke said. “I’m constantly thinking about Brumby and what’s next.”
Clarke says she wants to stayed tapped into the western world and cutting/rodeo industry from her roots. One of her main materials, kangaroo leather, is used not only for its durability but connects her to her Australian heritage. Her company name, Brumby Goods also was chosen to tell people more about Clarke as a person.
“Brumby was something that came up..here in America,” Clarke said. “It’s a horse, it’s a little wild, free spirited and…it’s pretty catchy.”
Clarke says she enjoys making the jewelry for women like herself.
“A lot of this stuff I had in mind for the working girl and the girl who rides,” Clarke said. “This was my original idea, to find something feminine but easy to wear.”
Clarke likes to make jewelry that is functional, durable, light and comfortable. She now ships across the country and overseas and also takes custom orders. Clarke initially made sales on social media, but now has her own website to properly display her designs, www.brumbygoods.com.
Although her career is focused on loping, she believes that having Brumby gives her something more to look forward to each day.
“Its given me something for myself,” Clarke said. “I’m accountable, it’s all me. It gives me something, it’s making something and being creative and I like to look at it and be like, ‘I made that.”