Getting Started with NCHA
Becoming an NCHA member is a great way to become involved in the NCHA program. By obtaining a membership, you can participate in NCHA approved events, earn money and points toward end-of-year awards. NCHA Memberships are available for beginners to professionals. The excitement is the same whether young or old. The horses are awesome athletes and the true hero of the sport.
If you have any questions about membership, amateur and/or non-pro status or eligibility please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, we are here to help.
Julie Davis – Director of Member Services
Linda Welborn – Manager of Member Services
|Free Membership||Youth||Non-Competing||Basic||Full Access|
Our free membership program is designed with beginners in mind. This is offered to individuals that are new to NCHA and want to try out cutting without the commitment of an annual membership fee.
This membership allows you to ride to herd and compete. You will have access to our online version of the Cutting Horse Chatter magazine and the NCHA Rulebook.
Our youth memberships are available to individuals 18-years-old and younger. Not only does this membership allow to compete in our youth classes at the weekend level shows but it also makes you a member of the National Youth Cutting Horse Association (NYCHA). Through the NYCHA members can receive scholarships, serve in leadership roles, and compete for year-end awards.
Our Non-Competing membership is for our most avid fans and industry breeders. This membership is designed for those members that DO NOT compete or own horses that compete.
This membership will give you access to NCHA membership discounts with select NCHA Sponsors, a subscription to the Cutting Horse Chatter magazine (U.S. & Canada members only)
Our Basic Annual membership is designed for competitors and owners alike. This allows members and their horses to compete at any NCHA approved events across the world.
This membership gives you access to NCHA Membership discounts with select NCHA sponsors, access to the online version of the Cutting Horse Chatter magazine and the NCHA Rulebook.
Our Full Access membership is designed for members that compete and want access to all things cutting. This allows members and their horses to compete at any NCHA approved events across the world.
This membership will give you access to NCHA membership discounts with select NCHA Sponsors, a subscription to the Cutting Horse Chatter magazine.
|Cost: Free||Cost: $25/annually||Cost: $65/annually||Cost: $80/annually||Cost: $140/annually|
Ready to become a member of the NCHA? Sign up now!
Welcome to the NCHA!
How Cutting is Judged?
In a cutting competition, the horse and rider must work together as a team, demonstrating their skills handling cattle. The contest begins as the pair approaches the herd. The horse and rider have two and a-half minutes to cut two to three cows from the herd. When the rider has clearly separated one cow from the herd, they must drop their hand on the horse’s neck and trust the horse to do its job. The cow will instinctively try to return to the herd, but the horse must defend the herd and hold that cow apart. Each run is judged on a point system, beginning at a 70. Points are awarded and deducted based on the contestants' ability to work the cow. The judge’s scores will range between 60 and 80 points.
Finding A Director
The NCHA is comprised of eight regions. Each region in the association has numerous Directors, happy to help you get started in the sport. These directors are an invaluable resource for members to use when taking the next step in looking for a trainer. Trainers will, inevitably, be your source of information. In addition to teaching you and your horse the fine art of cutting, your trainer may work with you on basic riding and horse safety skills, depending on your needs. To find your region and a list of directors in your area, visit NCHA Directors on our website.
Finding A Trainer:
Trainers are an invaluable source of information. In addition to teaching you the fine art of cutting, your trainer may work with you on basic riding and horse safety skills, depending on your needs. Remember, do not be afraid to ask your trainer questions, no matter how trivial a question may seem to you. Preparing to compete in the cutting is both a physical and a mental game and preparation begins well in advance of the competition.
A list of NCHA professionals can be found on the NCHA Trainers page.
Finding A Show:
Now that you are a member and have been practicing with a trainer, you are ready to hit the show pen! The NCHA provides many different ways to track your success and earn awards. One of the awards you can earn is the Achievement Buckle. This award is given once a rider wins $2,000 in lifetime NCHA weekend earnings, and are given a trophy Gist buckle, compliments of NCHA. NCHA has numerous affiliate associations that offer NCHA approved classes at their events.
There are two types of shows in NCHA:
Weekend Shows: The weekend shows are designed with the rider’s ability in mind, regardless of the
Limited Aged Event Shows: The limited age events place a restriction on the age of horse in which a rider can compete on. Classes will be broken down horses age first and then rider’s eligibility. The most popular limited age events in the association are the Triple Crown Events.