Horsemanship could be defined as the art of handling horses in a respectful way, much the way horses handle or relate to each other in the herd.
Along those same lines, stockmanship can be defined as the art of handling cattle and other livestock in a respectful way and using a low stress manner of working with livestock.
This technique goes back to the time of the historical cattle drives from Texas to other areas of the West. Those longhorn cattle were mostly wild cows and there were no fences to stop the animals if they took off on a stampede.
To be successful those cowboys or drivers had to learn to understand and think like wild cows. They had to learn to handle huge herds in a low stress way through observing how the animals interacted amongst themselves. Today we use stockmanship or “low stress handling of livestock” as an efficient way to handle animals. We try to use the Bud Williams Method. However, scientists like Temple Grandin use many of the same methods.
At The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch you will learn about the above methods. During the week we will initiate you as part of your orientation to the basics of handling livestock. If you are interested we can organize additional time to work yearling cattle prior to going out on the range and participating in the work out on the range.
On the contrary to what most people think, cattle drives is done slowly and gently instead of “yahooing” and pushing the herd hard. On some occasions one will need to push the cattle herd (example going up a steep slope), however most of the time “slow is fast and fast is slow”.
Cattle Drives vs Cattle Work
When you read about cattle drives today, it is usually an activity staged for tourists. On real working ranches we speak generally about ”cattle work”. Cattle work is the term that summarizes all the different type of handling and activities that take place on a real working cattle ranch. It defines such as things are branding, weaning, pairing, moving cattle (cattle drives), loading, unloading, searching, isolating, roping, etc.
Team Penning, Sorting & Gathering
On a weekly basis, if enough guests are interested, we organize team penning, sorting, gathering, etc. in the outdoor arena. This is a fun exercise that emphasizes teamwork. Prior to the arena activities, you will help gather our 20+ yearlings in the pastures, through the creek and into the arena.