Three Multi-Tasking Skills for Setting Up Cuts

Three Multi-Tasking Skills for Setting Up Cuts

Herdwork is what’s called a “soft skill,” not because it’s easy, but because the situation is never the same. During herd work it’s challenging because the cattle are always changing position in the herd and in the arena. Plus, as a rider, you make constant decisions on the spot that impact the flow of cattle. 

In this voice-over video, I describe three actions you can take (simultaneously!) to get set up a good cut. They take practice, but a great first step is understanding what they are, and how they impact your cut. 

Reading Cow Body Language

Reading Cow Body Language

Reading cattle often falls into the category of elusive. It’s like, “How the heck can you tell what that cow’s going to do?”

The truth is – you can’t! (That’s not a good answer- ha!) You never know for sure what a cow is going to do until they do it. But you can predict their behavior with increasing percentages of accuracy. Predictors do exist that give you information that strongly suggests what a cow most likely will do next.

And that’s what this video is all about. It’s super casual, and I talk about indicators of what the cattle might do like I was sitting around watching cattle with you.

Reading cattle takes practice. I encourage you to take time and study cattle during open cutting and herd work classes, just as we did here. You will expedite your progress by putting in the extra mile.


Nourish Your Spirit

Nourish Your Spirit

There is an attribute of extraordinary people that I love. They take care of their hearts. By that, I mean they take time to nourish their spirit.

It seems like this would be so personal that it’s not worth mentioning here, but I have come to know it is central to a successful horse and everyday life – one that’s full of joy and authenticity.

Here’s what I mean.

First, being still and listening within is a practice of the heart and soul.

Next, we never ‘get’ anything to the point where we never need to review it again or build on foundation ideas and skills. Nothing is one-and-done.

I want to apply this idea to a question I received from a social media post from a woman (and I’m paraphrasing here) who is often worrying about getting hurt as she gets older. She doesn’t want to fret about the what-ifs and wonders how to remain confident.

So, in this case, one way would be to visualize or write in her journal every morning about seeing herself as a confident rider – that she trusts her horse and feels safe (she said she did in her question).

Then she could create a ritual at the barn before she gets on her horse to call up calmness. Maybe she offers a thought or a prayer of positive intention for a safe and enjoyable ride. Then every time she begins to worry, she stops her horse, breathes, and doesn’t continue until she feels in her heart that all is well.

In this case, nourishing her spirit would pay big dividends of confidence – and – it would require an investment of energy every time she rides.

No one gets out of having to visit and revisit essential practices that cause us to call up confidence and courage within. And we all will need to do it for a lifetime.

It is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, and we can do it for anything that truly matters to us.


Building Mental and Emotional Muscle

Building Mental and Emotional Muscle

We talk about mental, emotional, or physical training, but the reality is that the mind, body, and emotions are one.

When we think about something, it impacts our emotions and our body. When we do something physical, it affects our thoughts and feelings. And no matter what we feel, there is a corresponding response in our body and ideas in our mind.

Just as physical muscles can be built, so can mental and emotional muscles. And the process is the same.

For example, we will hit a plateau if we do the same physical exercise routine every day. There won’t be much change, and we won’t get weaker, but we won’t build muscle either.

To get stronger mentally and emotionally, we must expose ourselves to more challenging mental workouts.

How do we do that?

Here are some scenarios for you.

When we are riding well, and everything’s going great, there might seem to be very few emotional challenges. It feels like we’re cruising along, singing a song, side-by-side with our horse. 😊

But challenges always come up, both big and small. Maybe we don’t care for the judge, the weather is difficult, the ground is terrible, or we get a stomach bug. All kinds of situations always happen.

But when we embrace the idea that just like working out physically to get stronger, we can get mentally and emotionally stronger through adversity, our entire mindset changes. Hardships become opportunities to grow.

We don’t resist challenges. We access what’s in our control and what’s not. We decide what we can do or what we can learn, but through it all, we never turn on our belief in ourselves or our horses.

We take the opportunity to respond calmly with solutions. We keep believing we are enough and we can do it! We welcome those chances to keep learning but never allow them to break our spirit.

When the inevitable challenges come up, how we respond is what makes us mentally and emotionally more vital – or not.