Buntin & Smith

The Cuttin' Pen Newsletter
November/December 2023

The Cuttin’ Pen Trivia

Submit Your Answer to Win The Cuttin' Pen Trivia Prize!

Dec 2023 Trivia Photo

"*" indicates required fields

She is the first horse that Monty Buntin took to the NCHA World Finals.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Showman Showcase

Kaitlyn Laube

2023 NCHA World Champion Unlimited Amatuer

All Time Favorites

Favorite Horse:

Favorite show pen:
Will Rogers Coliseum 

Favorite win or buckle:
2023 NCHA World Champion Unlimited Amatuer

Kaitlyn Laube Cowgirlbluz UNLIMITED

Kaitlyn Laube on Showmanship

Q: Which showmanship tip that you received from Monty or Tim has helped you the most in the show pen?
A: Not to rush my cuts and cut whatever cow is easiest and in the right spot. 

Q: Describe a challenging milestone you have experienced in the show pen and how you were able to overcome it.
A: Chasing a cow on my cut. I just really forced myself to slow down and listen to my help and look for the easiest cow to cut. 

Q: Describe your most disappointing run and what you learned from it.
A:  It was the second go of the 50 Amateur at the NCHA World Finals show in 2022, and this run was going to determine whether I was champion or reserve champion. I cut a bad second cow and it cost me the win! I learned that no matter what happens, it’s all a learning experience and I was going to just come back stronger next year. 

Q: Describe your best run and what you learned from it.
A: My best run was the second go of the Unlimited Amateur at the NCHA World Finals show this year. I had drawn last, and all I kept telling myself was to just go show my horse and have a clean run, and I ended up winning it! I learned that if I don’t only focus on the outcome and I just go out there and listen to my help and don’t rush anything that is how you win. 

Q: Does it help your showmanship improve to have Tim and/or Monty review video of your runs and give you feedback?
A: Yes, having them review my runs and telling me what to fix or do differently has helped my showmanship in so many ways. Hearing the feedback they give me lets me know what to do differently next time I walk to the herd.

Cuttin' Quotes

When driving a cow out of the herd;

"Get out there where the water’s deep"

- Tim Smith

quote horse photo

Bridles & Bits: By Tim Smith

Monty and I have gotten a lot of questions about bridles and bits lately; what we ride in, and what we show in. I thought I would take a minute and go through the bridles in my collection, talk about my favorites, and review why I use the bridles I do and in which circumstances.

Bridles are kind of like golf clubs, after a while you will have a garage full of them! At any given time, I have had as many as 200 bridles in my collection, although I find myself going back to the same 8-10 time and time again.

These are my main go-to’s.

Watch The Full Video

Play Video
Loping Hackamore

The Loping Hackamore – Gentle and Effective

This is a little loping hackamore, a pencil bosal, that we use on some horses to warm them up. It’s very light and flexible. We just put this on to go trot them and get them relaxed.

The Short Shank Correction Bit – A Reliable Mainstay

Probably my favorite bridle. I’ve shown lots of horses in this bridle, and we use it to warm up horses most of the time. Its just a little tiny correction. There are lots of different variations of this bridle you will see out there. They are pretty much the same thing, its just whatever works best for you. This is one of my favorites, and Monty’s as well.


Short Shank Correction
Gordon Hayes Short Shank Port Bit

The Gordon Hayes Bit – A Legacy

This little short shank port bit has broken cheek pieces which provide lots of flexibility. Gordon Hayes made the bit, and I have had this show bridle for the better part of forty years. It’s one of our favorite show bridles and we even lope horses in it quite a bit. It’s light and flexible and gives the horse a lot of freedom. Some of you might remember Diane’s great show horse Colonels First Pic. He was trained and shown by Jon Roeser in this type of bit, and we continued to show him in this bridle until he retired.

The MVP Bridle – A Champion’s Choice

The infamous MVP bridle. It’s what Metallics MVP galloped in all year when we were hauling for the world. This Kerry Kelly short shank correction with a roller is unique for its ball bearing feature that gives them something to play with, almost like a teething ring for a baby. MVP loved this bridle! We just have a leather curb on it. It’s got a lot of feel and if you need to take ahold of something with it, you can.

MVP Kerry Kelley
Long Shank Correctional

The Long Shank Correction Bit – Resolving Stiffness

Many horses have shown in this bit over the years. It’s essentially the same exact mouthpiece as the short shank correction above, but with a longer shank. This bit is money for me! I go to this bit if I’m having trouble with a horse getting too stiff. I will go get this bit out and it usually fixes my problem!

The Kerry Kelly Port Mouthpiece – For Precision Steering

Another one of my favorites is the Kerry Kelly long shank bit with a port mouthpiece and broken sides. This bit has a lot of feel to it. If you are having trouble steering a horse, you can sure get their nose, sure get direction with it. If you need to stop one, you can darn sure do that as well. I have just a little dog chain chin strap on it. Again, a very good bridle with a lot of feel.

Kerry Kelly Port with broken sides
Baby Elephant

The Darrel Davis Baby Elephant – A Bigger Bit

I’m not one to use a lot of big bits, but when I do, this is my favorite. The Darrel Davis baby elephant bridle was MVP’s show bridle when we were hauling him last year. This is another one of my go-to bridles.

The Pitchfork Bridle – A Unique Masterpiece

Many of you have heard us talk about the pitchfork bridle. Years ago, Wayne Hodge’s dad started making these bits from pitchfork tines. My pitchfork has a silver inlay, and this bridle has a lot of feel. The pitchfork probably has more bite than the baby elephant. Very few horses have trouble with this bit.

Titanium Buster

The Titanium Buster – A Rare Find

This is a unique bit you will not see a lot of. It’s a copy of the old Stiles & Welch aluminum  Buster. Greg Welch had these copies made and they are made out of titanium; the same material putters are made of. It’s exactly the same mouthpiece and same shank length as the aluminum Buster, just made out of titanium to make them last. The old Buster’s that were made with aluminum, after a time, the shanks would pull off. Greg Welch gave me this bridle, its brings back a lot of great memories and it’s a very good bridle.

The “Peanut Butter Bit” – Smooth and Responsive

I call this the Peanut Butter Bridle, named after Smooth Peanut Butter, a horse I showed for Gary Gonsalves at the futurity one year. It’s a Buster shank with a port mouthpiece. It’s the same shank as the titanium bridle I just showed you, just with a little more bite to it.

Peanut Butter Bridle
Short Shank Buster

The Short Shank Buster – Lightweight and Lots of Feel

This aluminum bit with a small shank and a Buster Welch mouthpiece is known for its lightness and feel. This was the bit that Kaitlyn Laube showed Cowgirl Blues in all year.

The Short Shank Prong – To Lighten One Up

If you need a little more bite than the short shank Buster, we’ve got the Buster Prong. It’s the same short shank, with a prong mouthpiece, I only use it occasionally, but if you have one that starts to tug on you or becomes hard to navigate, the Buster prong will lighten them up for sure.

Buster Prong
Wiggly Sided Bit with Port

The Wiggly Sided Bit with a Port – A Solution for Directional Issues

This bit is another example of the bits I prefer where the shanks will break or are “wiggly.” I like to be able to get my horse’s nose going in the direction I’m going. A lot of times when you neck rein one over, you might be going left and their head’s looking right. If you’re having that trouble, something with a broken shank you can kind of cheat that rein, give them a little more direct rein, as opposed to neck reining them over.


One of the greatest horsemen of all time, Greg Ward, once told me back when I was a young man, and we were talking about bridles:

“It isn’t so much about the bridle in the horse’s mouth, it’s about the person whose hands are running the bridle.” – Greg Ward

Thank you for joining me on this journey, and I look forward to sharing more experiences with you in The Cuttin’ Pen.

– Tim