“When the cow runs and stops, the horse has to run and stop and, when the cow turns, the horse has to mirror the cow and make the same kind of turn or even a more aggressive turn, which derives more points,” Richard Herr, a horse trainer in Gainesville, Texas, says. That’s a lot of action, all crammed into a short two minutes riding a cutting saddles.
In order to do this kind of work, these horses must be in excellent physical condition. “Basically every muscle in their body is used while they are working the cow,” Al Dunning, a cutting horse trainer in Scottsdale, Ariz., says. “There’s probably not another equine athlete that expends this kind of energy in such a small amount of time.”
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