As the popularity of Campdrafting continues to climb, cutting horse breeders and owners are now finding their horses in high demand from those who prefer the camp to the cutting pen.
What makes a cutting horse so popular with campdrafters? I’m sure you could ask one hundred different people and you would get the same amount of answers. A while back while interviewing legendary trainer Graham Amos I decided to ask him this very question. Before getting to his answer a little background on the American Cutting Horses. The cutting horse was created like many things out of necessity and in the USA cattle breeding was a big thing. The cowboys needed a reliable steed that could quietly go through the herd and assist them in either steering the herd in the direction they wanted it to go or to cut out individual cattle for branding or treatment if they were injured or sick.
Graham says the Australian campdraft horses don’t have the depth of breeding, compared to the American bred horses. “They have been breeding cowhorses to cowhorses for a very long time….. out here we just used to much with just straight thouroughbreds used that way and thouroughbreds were trained mainly just to race on a racetrack, not to be cowhorses as such, even though there were quite a few of them that were very good at it. A lot of them were getting too leggy and not as quick in the yard, and everyone is realising now that the camp is a part of the score and if you don’t get a good score in the camp …. those big lanky thouroughbreds can’t move across the ground as quick and they can’t turn as quick as what these smaller Quarter Horses can. And that’s what they’re bred for, they are bred smaller so that they can move quicker, stouter and stronger and when you get outside that’s where the thouroughbred part can come into it a little bit, but if the cow’s sitting up on them going round a peg and sits up on them, they stop on them, there’s to big a force and stride to stop quickly and rate the cow”.
Ok so the Quarter horses can stop and turn quicker than their taller cousins but what about speed across the ground? “Speed’s the easiest thing in the world to get out of a horse, I haven’t seen a cow outrun a horse yet”.
To view some quality bred cowhorses on the market click here.