Setrics Tracker

Trainer’s Corner: Faron Hightower

October 7th, 2019 by Sophia Skeith

Faron Hightower

How did you get started in cutting?

“Been involved in cutting since ‘79 or ‘80. My dad [got me involved]. My dad was Olan Hightower. He trained Colonel Freckles. I was fortunate enough to have a teacher that knew more about the cow and horse than anyone I ever encountered…the good Lord blessed me with some ability and feel for a horse. Dad’s way of teaching was about the horse and the cow and not you.”


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The Heart of Cutting

October 7th, 2019 by Sophia Skeith

Star Roberts
Photo By: John O’Hara

With all the recent turmoil in cutting with declining membership, staff turn-over and controversies over how to make the sport fairer and more accessible, it can be hard to stay positive. But two cutters who have optimism to share are Star Roberts and Amy Jones.

When they started out in cutting, both knew that they weren’t going to go buy a six-figure cutting horse, if ever. They each began with a horse that was at their level and gradually moved up in horse power as they developed. Their trainers helped them learn and improve, knowing full well that they were not going to spend a lot of money on a horse. As a result, both riders have thoroughly enjoyed their time in the sport, making great friends.

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Cutting In The Holy Land!

August 9th, 2019 by Sophia Skeith

Sarig Brosh Cutting

Who would have thought, in a country barely the size of New Jersey and located in the Middle East, that there is a flourishing performance horse scene that even includes a cutting group which shows five times a year?

Sarig Brosh has been training horses for over 20 years. His student, Yafit Junker, has been riding horses for six years.

“I took my first riding lesson six years ago, and about a year later I was brought to Brosh to make him laugh….I find cutting as addictive and progressive. I started with a frequency of once a week and very soon it became my everyday routine,”  Junker said.

Junker purchased a horse and very soon one horse turned into three and now Junker is a lifer in all things horses and a cutter to boot.

Her trainer Brosh spent two years in the United States learning about training horses. One year of that was spent breaking colts and roping, and another year learning to train cutting horses from Terry Harlen from Texas.

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Member Spotlight – Karl Jenkins

July 5th, 2019 by Sophia Skeith

Karl Jenkins isn’t a stranger to hard work. Jenkins spent 46 years building a successful Chevrolet Dealership in Wapakoneta, Ohio which didn’t allow too much time for indulging his passion for horses. However, after retiring 3 years ago, Karl could pursue cutting horses to the full extent.

“It’s nice being retired. The days go by fast, but it sure is great being able to spend that time with my horses all day,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins has been in the saddle ever since he was 10 years old, running barrels and poles. In college, he got his first taste of cutting.

“Shorty Freeman let me turn back for him, and I was hooked,” Jenkins said. In his late 50’s, Jenkins purchased a very special horse, a daughter to Freckles Play Boy, Betty’s Little Freckles rose to the top time and time and time again. The duo never placed below second in any show they competed.
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Trainer’s Corner: James Payne

July 5th, 2019 by Sophia Skeith

From Overbook, Oklahoma, James Payne has been operating his ranch and training for the public out of his own facility since 2008. After a long line of training reining horses for Dick Piper, he eventually fell in love with the cutting industry with the help of the Pipers and the spectacular horse Playgun!

Payne’s persistent attitude is what drives him to continue his hard work ethic in the pen. No-one would ride more horses every day than this gritty trainer. His primary training philosophy is to, “Be there everyday and grind, with a lot of repetition,”.

This is evident in his impressive results. James has been a multi NCHA Futurity Finalist, as well the 2012 NCHA Super Stakes Reserve Champion, the 2012 and 2014 NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic Champion, 2018 NCHA Summer Spectacular Open Classic CHAMPION riding PG Heavily Armed and the 2018 NCHA OPEN WORLD FINALS AGGREGATE CHAMPION on PG HEAVILY ARMED, to name some of many titles.
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Barn Blindness – Are You A Sufferer?

July 5th, 2019 by Sophia Skeith

If you’ve ever bred or even owned a horse, then there’s a good chance you may have contracted this alarming disease at some point. It knows no racial, ethnic or religious boundaries. Early symptoms include excessive grooming of your horse, and constantly posting pictures on social media of every “cute” and “adorable” angle of said animal/s.

It can quickly develop into a chronic condition when most of your waking hours are spent comparing your horse/s to all others only to find all others wanting.

The disorder can even progress to its most acute stage when you believe judges are unfairly penalizing your horse if it doesn’t achieve the score you think it should have and you become highly sensitive to any comments about your horse that are not superlatives, especially by trainers (cause what do they know?)

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Pulse Vet

June 26th, 2019 by nikki garrett

Pulse Veterinary Technologies, LLC (commonly referred to as PulseVetis a worldwide   leader in extracorporeal shock wave technology and is committed to only the highest standards in quality and innovation. Here at CHTO, we have partnered with PulseVet because of their remarkable technology that is trusted by veterinarians across the globe. Top veterinarians and rehabilitation facilities know there is only one choice to speed healing when it matters most and PulseVet fills that bill!

The company is focused on providing only clinically-tested and proven solutions through a line of successful products that are the best in the industry. The ProPulse, VersaTron, and VersaTron 4 Paws (for our canine companions), have all been created with superior technology to better serve vets across the globe and ensure the comfort and care of our animals.  With a reputation as the authority on veterinary shock wave, PulseVet understands the importance of bringing the best products and service to the industry. Imitated, yet never matched, PulseVet is uncompromising when the health of animals is at stake.

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CHTO Member Spotlight – Hannah Venne

April 1st, 2019 by Nevada Huffman

 For Hannah Venne, horses have always been the center of her life.

“My dad used to try to sign me up for all different sports, “she said, “but according to my mom and I, the barn is where I needed to be.”

From dressage to hunter jumper and onto Polo Cross, Venne has done it all. At 17 years old, Polo Cross brought Hannah Venne to Burnett, TX.

In a twist of fate, Hannah’s search for a Polo Cross Horse on Craigslist led her to a little black mare that was advertised as a finished cutting horse.” Venne soon realized her new mare was “not so finished.” Knowing very little about cutting, she turned to trainer Mike Crumpler for lessons.
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Kobie Wood Part 2 – The Million Dollar Question?

April 1st, 2019 by Nevada Huffman

 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?

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.”

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Discovering Cutting In South Africa

March 13th, 2019 by Nevada Huffman

We all know that cutting is practiced in many countries around the world, but it may surprise you to learn there’s a burgeoning cutting scene in South Africa. A small number of passionate riders have created an informal but fun cutting group according to Anthony Galliers, who discovered CHTO as a learning tool. He is from Rosetta in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

We found it interesting to hear how cutting was structured in South Africa, as well as some of the challenges they face to get quality 

How long have you been involved in the industry, and what brought you into it? 

“My wife and I come from jumping and Polo Cross back grounds. We dairy farm so [we] don’t get out much. So we were looking for fun activities to do on [our] farm. We had luck when we stumbled on a western disciple show in 2014, this lead to our daughter falling in love with reining. This lead to the sale of all things English (tack and horses) and to us sourcing western tack and quarter horses. 

The whole family soon got hooked. My wife, daughter and son compete in reining. It left me to find my thing. I started to look up what else was out there and came across cutting via you-tube about 2 years ago. So we built a sand arena which allows us to ‘play’ in between milking cows.”

 What is the cutting industry like in South Africa? 

“It is just a few of us committed folk getting together every six weeks and to see where our horses are at. We have a lot of laughs and we share the little we have learnt between meetings, you tube videos and videos brought over from the States. This is 1000% hobby but hell we are having fun.” 

How often do cuttings take place, and how far do you have to travel? 

“As mentioned we try to meet and hold fun cutting days every 6 weeks, work and season depending. The six of us farmers are all located in our province (state) known as KwaZulu Natal. What is great is that we are all located in a 100 km (60 mile) radius of each other so we travel to one of the two farms where cutting pens have been made.” 

What are the challenges with importing horses/genetics to South Africa? 

“Importing horses is an option but a very expensive procedure, especially with the weak Rand to Dollar [conversion rates]. There are horses here in South Africa that have been imported mainly for reining and pleasure work. As a result the studs here are reining and pleasure genetics. We have however had a bit of Colonel Freckles, Smart Little Lena, a Highbrow Cat great grandson and Peppy San Badger genetics brought into to our gene pool. And that is what we have focused on for our cow horses. Regarding semen imports we have major governmental barriers in place that prevent us from importing semen at present which is a massive hurdle. We are working through this, however in Africa this requires governmental intervention so we can’t hold our breath for this to happen quickly.” 

What is the most popular horse discipline in South Africa? 

“We have a large race horse industry which feeds horses into various sports. Polo and Polo Cross are big team horse sports here. South Africa is the current holder of the World Cup Polo Cross trophy. 

Thoroughbreds have been the main horses used for many English disciplines. The Aussie Stock horse crosses have recently come into their own, for polo cross, via a breeding program that has been going on here for some 10 years. Then jumping, dressage and eventing is well set up with good followings, warmbloods and thoroughbreds are mainly used. Gymkhana events [similar to a 4H show] are held under the banner – Mounted Games and this is very popular.” 

What is the cutting horse market in South Africa like? 

“Cutting specifically, it is still very small, however there is a demand for the ranch type horse. But we like to believe we will attract folk to the sport as more horse and rider combinations are able to showcase the sport. 

We rely on CHTO DVDs and you-tube for some kind of direction. As well as investing in trips to the US. In June, our family spent time with Uwe Roeshmann and Cody Lamont which was an awesome learning experience and we have tried to implement what we have learnt here in SA. 

Recently we had Mark Lyon from M&M Horsemanship take a trip to South Africa, who taught us a lot. Mark is a colt starter and horsemanship clinician by trade. However he knows enough about cutting and ranch roping and was able to add massive value to us as a group as we got to work on our own horses.” 


Austin Shepard DVD – Get To The Winner’s Circle

January 16th, 2019 by nikki garrett

To win in the sport of Cutting, you need to have a trained cow horse! Six-million dollar winner Austin Shepard is the man to teach you how to do this. Buy his DVD to learn how to teach your horse to work a cow. Click here to purchase your own DVD Now! 



Roger Wagner DVD “Hip To Be Square”

January 16th, 2019 by nikki garrett

He’s the trainer’s trainer. He’s the man who got everyone in cutting thinking about perfecting their technique and making it look pretty! Now find out how to do it on Roger Wagner’s popular DVD “Hip To Be Square”. Check it out below and get your own copy by clicking here.

Brian Pearse Claims 2017 NCHA $35,000 Non Pro World Final

December 6th, 2017 by Simone Cobb

With just a few years of cutting under his belt, Brian Pearse claimed the 2017 NCHA $35,000 Non Pro World Championship in Fort Worth. Brian, who is from Alberta, Canada, rode Reyd to claim victory with $10,812 in total earnings.

Brian was Reserve World Champion last year in the $2,000 Limited Rider.

He told CHTO’s Simone Cobb, his trainer Mike Wood has been a great coach.

Kate Neubert Drives The Road To The Horse

March 26th, 2017 by Simone Cobb

By Bailey Bryan

Cutting’s Kate Neubert is embarking on the ride of a lifetime as she vies for the coveted World Championship of Colt Starting title in March. Kate is one of five women contestants invited to compete in the annual Road to the Horse (RTTH) at Lexington Kentucky, the first time the event has featured an all-female lineup. Kate will be putting her skills, knowledge and ‘feel’ for a young horse to the test as she takes an untouched 3 year old quarter horse to break in and train in front of a panel of esteemed judges and a crowd of thousands.

“I think this is a unique opportunity and will be a lot of fun,” Neubert said. “The whole event is designed to be educational and entertaining at the same time while [you are] presenting your ideas of horsemanship to people.”

Road To The Horse is a colt starting and horsemanship tournament that began in 2003, boasting such winners as Clinton Anderson, Chris Cox and Craig Cameron. Kate will be up against horsewomen from around the world including High School Rodeo Champion Barbara Cox (married to Chris Cox), two-time NRCHA World Champion Sarah Winters Dawson, clinician and assistant trainer Rachelle Valentine and New Zealand National show jumper, Vicki Wilson.

The event covers three days and consists of 4 rounds beginning with competitors watching and choosing a colt. After selections are made, each individual has two 90-minute training sessions and the finale obstacle course to undertake with the colt. The contestants also have to give a 30-minute clinic where Kate said she plans to promote the skills of the cutting horse. Lastly, the women will get a 3-minute opportunity to wow the crowd with their horsemanship, which Kate is keeping secret until the event.

Kate, who is assistant trainer to Morgan Cromer based in Templeton, CA, grew up on ranches learning how to ride, rope and start horses from renowned horseman and father Bryan Neubert. Bryan himself learned from the legendary Bill Dorrance as well as other icons like Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt.

Kate said she learned by age 12, while starting her first horse, that preparation and safety is top priority. Kate believes that learning to communicate with the horse and where the horse is at mentally and physically is key to training.

“I don’t have a set pattern for training a horse,” Neubert said. “I try and evaluate how they think, move and learn as well as how does the horse respond and react. If you don’t read that well then you can cross a dangerous line for you and them.”

This year, the judges panel is lined with champion riders, cowboys and equine experts such as: Yvonne Barteau, Jack Brainard, Dr Jim Heird, Suzy Jeane, Cody Lambert and Jeff Williams. Kate’s own accomplishments include winning the 2012 PCCHA Intermediate Open Futurity title and advancing two horses to the semi-finals of the 2014 NCHA Futurity, her first year at the event. Kate has won more than $211,000 in NCHA earnings. Although in the middle of a demanding training schedule, Kate has said she has had to carve out enough time to mentally prepare for the event as well as address what challenges she might face.

I’m really working on my time frame,” Neubert said. “I’m trying to figure out what I can get done and how I can pace myself during the hour-and-a-half first and second day rounds.”

Kate said it will be a high pressure environment with the clock ticking down on an extremely short amount of training time while having to communicate and entertain the crowd.

“Everyone has a mic on,” Neubert said.

“The commentators are pretty good at not jumping in at a critical moment, but to shift focus from talking to them and training will be a bit of a challenge.”

Despite the time restraints, distractions and other factors, Kate is being strategic about one of the most crucial aspects of the event: choosing a colt.

“Everything is new for a horse at that stage,” Neubert said.

“The way the horse moves and thinks as well as which ones seem more agreeable are important. The ones that want to be [trained] and not have as much fear and nervousness from their environment growing up are key.”

Kate says that her love of working with young horses comes from how quickly they learn as well as watching their development.

“Watching them progress right in front of you is fun and rewarding,” Neubert said. “When everything is new to a horse, it is how you present it to the horse. They can handle a lot if you get them trusting you and present a little at a time.”

With the RTTH event set for March 23rd, Kate looks forward to it with both excitement and a few nerves and plans to set some personal goals.

“Hopefully I’ll have a good final round,” Neubert said. “To know you did as good a job as you can do and to get as far as possible.”

The Excitement of Cutting Cattle For The First Time At The CHTO Chubby Turner Clinic!

May 26th, 2016 by CHTO

How many people do you know have signed up for a cutting horse clinic just six weeks after being introduced to the sport?

How many people do you know cut their first live cattle at a clinic?

It’s a big call to make, but that’s exactly what Terrell Houston did when he attended the Chubby Turner clinic organized by Cutting Horse Training Online at J5 Ranch, Weatherford, Texas.

To say Terrell threw himself into the deep end is an understatement but not only did he swim, he inspired many people with his positive outlook and determination to become a competitive cutter.

With no prior knowledge of or connection to the sport, Terrell refused to let any barriers, like not even owning a cutting horse, stand in his way and went on a mission to learn all he could.

Terrell spoke with CHTO’s Simone Cobb about his experience at the clinic and the journey he’s embarking on into the sport of cutting.

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