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Although a finished cutting horse doesn't require you to use your hands as often, when you're working with a young cutting horse, your hands are essential tools to train him to accurately perform his job.
Cutting horses are generally "feely" and require direct timing and cues. RL breaks down how to get your timing correct when you're asking for your cues.
Ideally as a competitor, you want a horse with natural ability and cow sense. However, you can train a horse to have cow sense. RL explains how to teach your horse cow sense.
Stirrup adjustment is important to help maintain proper body positioning while cutting. RL explains how he likes to adjust the stirrups for himself and his clients.