The term "Cutting" refers to the act of separating one cow from a herd of cattle. The Sport of Cutting involves a horse and a rider and a herd of cattle. Cattle are herd animals. One cow will instinctively try to return to the group. Knowing that, a horse and rider team will quietly ride into the herd, select and "cut" off (separate) one cow from the group (letting the unpicked cows return to the herd behind) and then prevent that cow from rejoining the herd - until they decide to let it go. Keeping the cow separated requires incredible intelligence and physical ability on the part of the horse. Once the cow is separated, riders are no longer allowed to use their reins. Trained cutting horses are required to think on their own and anticipate & react to the cow's moves.