Horsemanship can be defined as the art of handling horses in a respectful way, like how 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 those livestock.
This technique goes back to the time of the historic cattle drives from Texas to other areas of the West. Those longhorn cattle were mostly wild 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 cattle. They had to learn to handle huge herds in a low stress way through observing how the animals interacted within the herd. 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 are 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 generally speak 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 things as 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 from the pastures, through the creek and into the arena.
If you would like to read more please visit AH Horsemanship.