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“How the Judge Views Runs – from a World Champion’s Perspective”

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Interview with Phil and Mary Ann Rapp:

Barbra: Okay. So when you’re judging a non-pro class what are some of the top credit-earning behaviors or things that you’re looking for in a run? Like, what do you like to see?

Phil: That’s a real good question. What I like to see is – you want to see confidence first and foremost. You also want to see everything go together smoothly.

You don’t want to see haggard cuts, you don’t want to see herky-jerky motion. You want to see everything to be smooth and easy.
You want to have it look – and I know this is about the non-professional division but you want it to look professional in the fact that that rider drives up there and cuts their cow and puts their hand down and not reining – you know, moving the reins to the left and the horse’s head goes to the right or vice versa.

And so I just look at everything going smooth and easy, you know, much like a good sports play, if you will, when that play works well, the offense seems to move in unison and then it looks like, wow, it looks almost too easy, and that’s what I look for, knowing full well that only happens every so often but that’s what we all shoot for.

Barbra: Mm-hmm, okay. And when you said you are looking for confidence, are you talking about confidence in the horse, the rider being confident, what are you
looking for when you use that word?

Phil: Well, I want to see both people confident. You don’t want to see the horse – you don’t want to watch the non-pro and horse walk into the shower ring and then the horse look over its shoulder, you know, throw its head up like who’s this rider. So you want to see the horse and rider have an idea of who each other are.

And then, also, I want to see the rider walk through there and not be, I hate to say the word panicked but that word comes to mind a lot, you know, when they’re cutting their cattle and, you know, what do I do, and they’re looking for their trainer to tell em what to do or they’re looking for assistance.

And we all need help, I still get coached from the side sometimes and we all have mental breakdowns, if you will, and we need that extra little bit of advice, but you want to see that person kinda walk in there, have an idea of what cattle are there, what’s been cut, what’s been not cut, and try to walk up there and cut in a smooth manner, in an efficient manner.

And so that’s where I have the look of confidence. You know, they don’t have to look like Austin Shepherd in the Futurity finals running through there to cut a cow but they don’t need to look like they’re scared to death.

About the Author

Barbra Schulte is a personal performance coach for all riders, a cutting horse trainer, author, speaker, clinician and 2012 National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Inductee. Visit her Blog and signup to receive her FREE monthly email newsletter, “News From Barbra”. You will also receive the high performance secrets of great riders, inspiration, cutting strategies, news, and much more. In addition, you will also receive via email Barbra’s special FREE report: “Five of the Most Important Skills of Riding”. Go now to http://BarbraSchulte.com

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