There are many ranching traditions that have existed for hundreds of years. Of course those ranching traditions most often are not as they are depicted in modern movies. Cowboys and ranch hands do not go riding through a large heard firing their six shooter in the air and cracking their bull whip. However, many ranching traditions such as using horses are still the most effective method in handling cattle. The objective is to keep the steers calm and stress free. A well trained horses provide the vehicle to achieve that objective. Not every horse is cut out for this type of work. Horses in this line must have some grit, stamina, and smarts to out think the heard.
On our ranch, moving cattle on horse back is still the most effective method. In our experience, cattle move slower and calmer on horseback. We want our cattle to be treated in a quiet slow and methodical manner. Utilizing horses keeps cattle heart rates down, provides a safe environment for the cattle and reduces the stress on cattle.
Another important job for a horse and rider is to "check" the cattle. This means ride through them quietly, while the cattle are grazing to make sure any sick or hurt cattle are identified and treated appropriately.
Even in this modern era, the age old tradition of utilizing horses still has it's place. In fact, ask anyone of our cowboys, they can tell you every detail about their horse. The pair spends a lot of time together (pictured her is Lynn on Boo).
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