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Dave Stewart

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Dave Stewart: When Do You Put Your Hand Down During a Cutting Run?

Cutting, Cutting Showmanship, Free Training Articles

Use your angles to make the horse's first turn an easy one.

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00001 Dave Stewart Headshot 2012 295 x 246frame

Putting your hand down at the right time can make or break a cutting run. After experiencing the relief of getting a single cow separated from the rest of the herd, many cutters are anxious to throw their hand down and give their horse the responsibility for the rest of the run.

“Don’t be so quick to put your hand down,” said NCHA Hall of Fame trainer Dave Stewart of Midland, Texas. “Just because the cow’s out front doesn’t mean that you’re ready to start cutting”

The ideal time to put your hand down is when the cow is stopped and your horse is at a 45 degree angle to it.

“Cutting flat can put the horse in a dangerous position – especially if it is a three or four year old. You want to put your hand down so that the horse’s first move is easy and so that he can easily go in either direction depending on what the cow does,” Dave said.

Dave explained that cutters should always remember that a good run starts with a good cut.

“Start slow and easy, think about your horse’s position on the cow before you put your hand down. If you start slow then you can always go faster but if you start fast, it’s hard to get slowed back down. Once you’ve set your horse up then you can let the cow control the speed after that.”

Watch Dave Stewart’s other eHorseTrainer.com videos Setting Up A Cow on the Cut to learn how to get a cow out of the herd.

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Videos

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Photos

00001 1 Dave Stewart Too Flat 690 x 530

The horse is a little out of position and is too flat with the cow - don't drop your hand here because if the horse has to turn to the right of the screen, he'll have to catch up to the cow.

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00001 1 Dave Stewart Too Flat 690 x 530frame
00001 2 Dave Stewart Angled with the cow 690 x 530frame
0001 3 Dave Stewart Good Angle 690 x 530frame
0001 4 Dave Stewart Good Angle 690n x 530frame
0001 5 Dave Stewart Too Far Past 690 x 530frame
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