Learning About Cattle

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!).

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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