Battle in the Saddle

The Oklahoma State Fairgrounds are playing host to Battle in the Saddle from July 5-10.  I stopped by on Monday to see some of the action.  The open, non-pro, and senior cutting was under way.

Cutting is an event where a horse and rider start in the center of the arena and then slowly move into a herd of cattle at the back edge of the arena, driving some of them out.  The horse and rider then begin “cutting” through the herd, causing the cows to move away from the horse and back to the herd at the back of the arena, until there remains only one cow in the center of the arena.  Then, the horse’s natural ability takes over.  The horse darts back and forth, blocking the cow’s path back to the herd as it tries to juke around the horse.  The horse moves quickly, and must be able to stop and turn on a dime to keep the cow from moving past back to the herd.

It’s one of my favorite events to watch.  Unfortunately, I did not get any action shots.  All I had was my iPhone and I just shot this picture as they were working some of the cattle around.  But do a Google image search for “cutting horse” and you’ll get some good pictures.  Here’s a video about cutting:

I’ll be going back later this week to see some of the other events like reining and the world’s greatest horseman competition, and I’ll get some shots then.

For info on Battle in the Saddle, visit the Web site.

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