How to do cutting without cows?

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How to do cutting without cows?

This is a discussion on How to do cutting without cows? within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Where can i get a flag pully system for training cutting horses
  • Cutting horse cow flag

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    12-12-2008, 07:51 AM
Lightbulb How to do cutting without cows?

Does anyone have any good creative ideas on how to train cutting without cows?
It looks like so much fun, but we don't have any cow herds anywhere I live. Perhaps build cow-look-a-likes? Or dress up the horses in the herd as cows (a pair of antlers should do the trick)?
I know, it's probably impossible, but I just gotta see if it's possible. No stone unturned etc...
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    12-12-2008, 12:18 PM
Hmm, my trainer had a cow mounted on a pulley system in his indoor arena. He could lift it up high so it wasn't in anybody's way, but drop it down to the ground to work cattle. It was on a remote control device so somebody could make it move in different directions, stop, and change speeds from the other side of the arena.
    12-12-2008, 12:41 PM
What Sandsarita is describing is basically "flag training". It can be as elaborate as her system or as basic as two pulleys at whatever distance you can manage with a flag in the center of the line and worked by a helper.

The computerized system can cost in the area of $20,000 or more depending on the options. The simple pulley system can cost <$20 to rig up.

I've seen both used successfully.
    12-12-2008, 12:47 PM
Here is a diagram for a motorized system but you can use a person instead of the motor.

    12-12-2008, 01:33 PM
There is an easy way to set up the flag. My cutting trainer has the mechanical cow. Its not cow shapped or any thing like that. Just a brown piece of material that is on teh pully system above that is controlled by a remote that I carry in my hand while cutting. There is a cheaper and easier way to do this as well which I have at home. Buy an old work out bike. Set it up the same way. Put the rope through the front tire rim of the bike and then string it across your arena (against a wall) to the other side and have it go through another pully on that side which is tied to the other fence. That probably didnt make sence. Then you have some one ride the bike and just peddle back and forth.

Do you have a trainer helping you with this? I have been riding cutting horses for a long time now and I do not recomend doing it unless you knwo what you are doing or have a trainer with you. ITs not just stop and then turning around...there is alot of work that has to go into it before you even get to the flag.

Buffalo(yearlings) are also another good alternative to cows. They are fast! I don't recomment putting your horse on buffalo till you have the stop and turn around mastered because buffalo are VERY fast and have no problem trying to run over your horse...or under(which I have had happen)

    12-12-2008, 02:16 PM
Yeah, no trainer as of yet. Im going to try to find one in Sweden and see what they say. It sure sounds like its best to start with other training then the flag...
Do you have any hints on what I can start with? My horse is really responsive and works well with me in the dressage ring, but I feel hes getting bored and then I get bored and the circle keeps going... Cutting seems like so much fun!
Thanks a lot for the help! It can probably be used for environmental training as well
    12-12-2008, 02:29 PM
Figaro, some trainers use goats. They can be tricky and quick but a whole lot of fun. Just do NOT use sheep. Sheep can't physically handle the stress and you can kill them.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.
    12-12-2008, 03:05 PM
OK, thanks, I was actually thinking of trying it on with sheep. Won't now though!
    12-12-2008, 03:11 PM
There is alot of work that would need to be done before you get to the point of being on cows or any sort of animal at that point....are you confident with your horses stops and turn backs?
    12-12-2008, 03:37 PM
Yeah, but only with reins and two hands.


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