Every summer, I stay busy by hauling to cutting horse shows. For this event the rider rides into the herd of cattle and sorts one out. The rider must keep the cow from going back to the herd for two and a half minutes. During this time, the rider may quit that cow, as one cow will grow tired and each cow will make the horse show off different strengths due to different levels of speed and moves that cow may offer. This is an event where the horse and rider are both scored, and that score is combined into the final one. The rider is being judged on ability, courage, appearance and technique. The scoring scale is from 60 to 80 with each individual rider starting at 70, and the judge will either add or subtract points. The rider may also be disqualified or given a zero if they leave the arena before their time is up. Horse and rider combinations are eligible for different classes depending on the amount of money they have earned and the skill of the horse and rider. For example, the open class is typically for trainers, while the 5k novice non-pro class is for horses that have not earned over five thousand dollars. There are about ten different classes that any rider can enter in, and you may enter in more than one class, it is all up to the rider. In some classes, the rider must own the horse while some they do not.
I got into doing this competition a couple years ago since both my parents did the same. I started going to shows in Oregon, California, Idaho, Washington and Montana. This led to myself qualifying for bigger shows such as Western Nationals in Denver, Colorado. I have done quite well with my horse. He is an old professional and it has been great learning on him, he is a solid cutting horse. I have moved up into the more advanced classes and it has been a great experience. I have never enjoyed something more than showing cutting horses. I have two younger horses that I will start training to be my future competitors for when my current horse comes to a retirement age. It is truly a great sport and I have loved every second of it.