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Quarter horses will typically be good cutting horses but Appaloosas, Morgan and Arabians are also known to work well. A cutting horse should not have a height of more than 15.1 hands.
During a cutting event, two holders will be next to the fence of the arena (one on either side) to help prevent your cow from rejoining the herd. Depend on at least two riders on horseback to assist in turning the cow if he attempts to flee from you. You will need to move your horse through the herd and separate one cow from the rest. Then you must control the cow and prevent it from returning to the pack. It's possible to cut three cows in the duration of your two and a half minutes. You must hold the reins in one hand and keep your other hand on the saddle horn.
Once you've isolated a cow from the rest, you can't guide your horse with the reins—the reins have to stay down on his neck. Instead, rely on the strength in your legs to direct your animal. It is also crucial that you hold on tight as cutting horses are fast and nimble—you don't want to end up left in the dust! The judges will score contestants in accordance to their ability to maintain good positioning with the cow.
*If you're interested in learning more about cutting or anything else about horse training, look into some good videos or books. You can learn the basics in the privacy of your own home before trying it out with your horse.