Learning About Cattle

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By Julie Preble, Assistant Editor

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I was invited to a cutting clinic. I thought it'd be a good opportunity to learn about working cows from horseback (not to mention have some fun!).

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The clinic took place at Wade Tree Ranch, owned by Randall Davis and his wife, Jesse. I met Randall and Jesse at the Extreme Mustang Makeover event in Fort Collins, Colorado, earlier this year.

Along with cutting, Randall is also a working cow horse trainer.

I learned three important lessons applicable to most cattle events:

  • Always watch your cow's ear, and have your horse follow it. It'll help you determine where the cow will go next.
  • Build your horse's confidence with cattle by having him follow a cow around the arena. It'll give him a feeling of "Hey, I can push him around!"
  • You don't have to work cattle for hours on end for your horse to learn something. Randall said he's had days where his horse will "get it" within 5 minutes, and he'll immediately end the session with that horse.

While I'm not ready to add cattle into my riding mix just yet, I'll remember those lessons when the time comes.

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