Cutting - A New Frontier
You put your hand down and feel the rush and momentum, the big moves, the hard stops. You cannot believe a horse can do this on his own. It's electrifying and addictive. Your first words were probably, "Just give me one more cow!" If this sounds like you, don't worry you are not alone. Thousands of people annually experience the thrill and beauty of riding a cutting horse for the first time.
And when that happens, what next?
This information is designed to assist you in your efforts to become involved in one of the fastest growing equine sports in the world-cutting. With tips on buying your first horse, picking the right equipment and trainer, and even some show preparation techniques, it is the goal of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) to answer many of the questions you probably have right now.
"The NCHA promotes and celebrates the cutting horse, whose origin on Western ranches allows us to support ranching and its western heritage. By establishing rules for the conduct of cutting horse shows, NCHA strives to give cutters a level playing field and a progressive class structure, which accommodates everyone from the beginner to the advanced competitor. NCHA draws on the diverse talents and background of its members, and encourages their participation in helping it achieve these goals."
-- NCHA mission statement
On May 1, 1946 the National Cutting Horse Association was formed by a group of cowboys and ranchers with the main goals of promoting cutting competition, standardizing contest rules, and preserving the cutting horse's western heritage. NCHA held its first cutting in Dublin, Texas, in September 1946.
In 1955, 300 NCHA events were held with total purses of $190,000. The ensuing decades have afforded tremendous growth for the NCHA and today, more than 2,200 shows are held annually with total prize money exceeding $36 million.