Starting Cattle Work For Real. Kind Of.


Totally unconcerned

I keep saying what fun it’s going to be someday to teach Rusty to work cattle for real. Then I thought why wait for someday. Why not teach him to cut without riding him? Not sure it’s going to work but theoretically working a cutting dummy, or even plain old cutting is just targeting isn’t it?

My, or at least one of my, biggest problems is keeping my horses out of my space. Perfect match for a horse who has no respect for personal space and runs people over right? Not to mention that Morgans generally like to be right with you (on top of you) anyway. Those people who’s horses go away from them to do great things amaze and awe me. Because I don’t know how to manage that I decided to break it down as far as possible into something I could figure out. To heck with the horse being able to understand, first I need to be able to understand.

So I put him behind a gate. Seemed like the easiest way to keep him off of me. I stood on one side with my target, tennis ball on the end of a curtain rod, and put him on the other side farthest from the other horses. Then I played cow. I’m used to doing that, we do it with Tanna and Coyote all the time. People make the best training cow. We know what we want, can move nice and slow for a baby horse and give the turns and stops that are needed. Working real cattle with a baby horse is great, if you have the perfect set up and unlimited fresh cattle to work. We all have that, right?

I was able to play with him for a couple of brief work outs. The flies are driving him crazy, need to dig out the fly spray and work on that before anything else I guess. Other than that little problem he did pretty good. We worked back and forth a couple of times, I held the target low so it would be more like a calf. He worked pretty good off his hind quarters and turned nice.

My end goal is to be able to open the gate and do the same thing. Then play cow in the arena with him and have him work me while he’s loose. Kind of lofty goals but if we can manage that transferring it to a cutting dummy, then to cattle with me on his back should be easy enough.


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