Had my second cutting lesson today, and it was super fun.
Man, Western riding is almost alien to me. Everything is so different – the horses are smaller and quieter, the tack is heavy and hard (you need a good ass to sit on a western saddle), the horse’s movement is not the same as I’m used to, and even the gaits don’t feel the same. It’s really an eye-opening experience, because as an English rider, I need to reprogram my mind and do things differently. It’s especially true when it comes to cutting, because you’re supposed to let go and let the horse do most of the work. Talk about the absolute opposite from English riding!
You hold the reins in one hand and the horn with another. The horse moves rapidly, with sudden halts and sharp turns. You have to put your hand down and you can’t seek contact with the horse’s mouth like you do in dressage. It required a lot of concentration – I needed to cancel my muscle memory, listen to the instructor and switch to another mindset. I loved it!
The instructor, Sarig Brosh, is a top-tier professional, too. He will be leaving the stables soon, so I’ll need to travel up north in order to participate in more of these lessons, but I think it’ll be worth the effort. I’m very happy to be exposed to a different discipline and try out new things. Trying this different kind of riding helps me in my day-to-day with Talo, too, and he responds rather well when I try “western” things with him sometimes.
Here’s a short video of me working the cut under the instruction of Sarig: