A Beginner's Guide to Cutting: Dustin Roberts

If you interview one Roberts (aka our interview last week, Stacey Roberts), you should probably interview the other. Meet Dustin Roberts - husband to Stacey, dad to Sloan, has some great one-liners, is an all-around nice guy, and oh yeah... can be a pretty tough competitor in the cutting horse pen. When I first met Dusty (... am I allowed to call you by your barn name in this post?!) I remember thinking he had nerves of fricken' steel. The guy used to ride broncs back in the day, so maybe that's where my fatal flaw comes in with cutting - how can you be nervous to cut, if you literally used to get on your mount in a bucking chute? Dusty has had a lot of accomplishments in his short time in the cutting pen. If you recall from last week - Stacey commandeered his show horse earlier on this year. Despite that he managed to win the Silver Slate Winter Series 2,000 Limit Rider, won the CACHA 5,000 Novice Horse Non Pro and picked up his Achievement Buckle in the process.  Now he has a new horse that he's figuring out, is showing in a new class, and is setting his sites on consistency in 2018.



Dustin Roberts cuttin' up with his horse, No Rey Jackson.
Photo Credit: Have Dog Will Travel Photography
What is your horses registered name?

No Rey Jackson (Dual Rey x Shes Icing Onthe Cat)

What is their barn name?

Icy

Tell me a little bit about their personality?

She has high energy and does everything to her fullest. She is a red head, a mare, and a Dual Rey, so she can be fierce some days.


What is your favourite thing about your pony?

Every time I ride her, I feel like I can be 90. 


Describe their style in the show pen?

Icy loves her job, she works with a very low head and gets really gritty. I have been told a time or two, "oh - she's a Dual Rey!"

What class(es) do you show in?

15,000 Amateur


When you started out the year, what were your goals?

I didn't have a goal, or a horse to start off the year with. My lovely wife somehow took my horse, so I was left on foot. My goal was to support Stacey, and help her out. Then we had some good fortune and landed Icy in our barn. My goal for the last half of the year was to ride my new (and very cool!) horse, and have fun.


Do you ride with a trainer, if so, who?

Keith Stewart. The infamous #StewCrew!

Keith and I found common ground before I began cutting. I would watch Stacey practice while he and I enjoyed shooting the breeze and exchanging old rodeo stories. It's great to have a trainer that lets me know the way it needs to be, but is always encouraging and supportive.

What was the highlight of your show career this year specifically?

I was having trouble with Icy. We weren't consistent, and we had a few walk outs of the pen. Then we scored a 74 at an NCHA show in Claresholm, Alberta, and that felt really good.


What was the low point?

No low points - i'd rather have a bad day cutting than a good day working!

How did you get through it?

There's nothing to "get through." If you have a bad run - pout for a few minutes, then there's always next weekend. Stacey tells me you get 5 minutes to be mad, angry, scream... whatever you need. Then, you need to move on. Keith might have originally told her that one!


Do you get nerves/anxiety in the show pen?

Yes. Usually it's the first day of the weekend for some reason. Probably because I have been practicing all week for that moment and I get myself pressured up, and wanting to go out there and mark a 75.


If so, how do you deal with them?

An old trick I was told long ago is to chew gum. It's been said to calm you down and reduce stress. OR, just say screw it and go out there and have fun.


Dusty riding Two Spot The Cat
Photo Credit: Sandy Hansma

What was the best advice you received in the show pen, or about cutting, this year?


I was told by a trainer after one run that I was "too cowy." By that, he meant that I was moving around too much and needed to try and do less, and just let my horse read that cow and make the moves, not the other way around.

What was your best moment in the show pen this year?

I was able to win the Silver Slate 2,000 Limit Winter Series, which was nice because I had only been showing less than a year. It was also great to see my wife showing the same horse and do so well at the end of the year.

Tell me a little bit about showing alongside your wife, Stacey Roberts?

We decided to go in to different classes just in case the competition aspect started to get the best of us. But to watch her show is more nerve racking for me because you can't help her out there, or tell her what to do. You just have to sit there and hope she does everything that you know she's capable of and that you've seen her do before. And if it all goes bad, just be there to pick her up and support her. I also have someone to give me an honest opinion of my runs, there's no sugar coating from Stacey. Competing in this sport together really gives us the whole weekends together and in this day and age quality time is sometimes hard to find in people's busy schedules. All in all, it's great showing alongside her.

What was your most embarrassing moment in the show pen this year?

It takes a lot to embarrass me... I wore a unicorn outfit for Halloween this year. But walking out a few times would be close, because it makes you feel like you wren't ready, but that happens to the best of them.

What are your goals for next year?


My main goal is to just be consistent, that's all you can do. The standings, and whatever else.. that usually just works itself out. I also want to be there to help my wife out because after all, we are doing this together, and it's our families thing. Sorry Sloan (their three-year-old daughter)... she will be the next one to steal Two Spot from me!

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