I have something to share and I'd sure like to hear some opinions on this. Not that it's going to change my outlook, just want to see if I'm the only one that feels this way.
I've seen a trend in cutting horses that's getting more common. Goosiness beyond practicality. I mean, these horses are so jumpy you can't hardly touch them. I rode with cutters and turned back a little for em and I just can't see why it's necessary to have a horse so jumpy, you can't drop a coin on the floor without an explosion. I do realize they need to respond to a leg. I realize they need to do it quick. They're bred to be that way and breeders do a great job. My problem is when trainers won't spend any time teaching the animal that there's a difference, and they can be gentle on the ground. I believe they can know the difference, that a leg or spur means something, but everything that moves, shake, or vibrates doesn't mean jump. Maybe the trainers are thinking that horse needs that extra "edge" and we need to leave him jumpy, I don't know. I've ridden some good cow-bred colts and they're the most trainable horses I've rode. I've seen horses that would cut, then you can point them at a cow, shake a loop out, and rope one with no drama. These aren't the horses I'm talking about. Ranch horses that cut do enough other stuff that they know the difference. Is cutting at shows so specialized that we can't have a horse that's reasonably safe to be around? Do they have to be this explosive?
I'm really saying this from a farrier's perspective. It's a safety issue. I do actually like working on one that's a little scared. I can pet em through a shoeing job real easy. So far, I can't remember a cutting horse that was so treacherous, I didn't want to shoe it. BUT I do remember leaving a couple training barns because the trainer didn't like me getting the horse desensitized.
Now I don't mean I took them out in the arena and sacked them out like John Lyons. I mean I rubbed down their belly and hind legs for just long enough that they could kinda stand for me to shoe them. I did it because the horse was a danger to me and himself. (One place was on slick concrete. You can imagine trying to shoe a kicking, scrambling screwball on slick-finished concrete)
Now don't get the idea that I'm bashing cutting horses, I'm not. I'm talking about trainers who are ok with a dangerous animal as long as he works a cow good. Race horse trainers and owners are even worse, I just don't do as many of them.
I'm not a competitive cutter. Never had the desire or the skill. But I'd like to hear opinions and ideas on this from people who are.