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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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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.”

Keep on reading!


Kobie Wood – Part 1: Keeping Their Feet To The Fire

February 19th, 2019 by Nevada Huffman

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 cows today, 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. 


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