Introducing gelding to cows
I just got a 5yr old gelding, his dam comes from a cutting line cow horse line (apparently a good one) his Dad is a well known Reiner, let's just say he's a well bred fella (he's the first nice horse I've owned!) He has been reining trained and shown. He has not worked on cows YET!
He has a nice roll back and stop, is very light and responsive.
I have worked cows before on other horses, I'm just wondering if you could give me some pointers about how to introduce my new guy to cattle work in a positive way so that he learns to enjoy it and work a cow like a cat! (hopefully!). I have some good people around me to help, but was wondering what tips I could gather here:-)
We did 1 cow in an arena, and then began pushing the cow away from us at a walk. Once the horse learns that he is the boss and can push the cow, he gets a lot of confidence. Then you start teaching the horse how to manuver the cow, and if the horse is confidence and focused on his job, he will learn how to use his own body language to help you. Then add more cows.
I've had worse trouble sacking out horses to the electronic cutting cow than the real ones so... it's not so bad if you have a controllable, cowy horse. I personally don't like the horse to get too "hot" around the cow. The very beginning would be the time to nip that in the bud. Push the cow, rollback away from the cow, push the cow again, figure eight behind the cow, etc.
Oh yes, the mechanical cow! That seems to unnerve the horse more than the real thing! I've worked a horse on a mechanical that jumped out of its skin every time the thing moved, still worked for me, but was rattled. On real cows he was fine:-)
Thanks for your help:-)
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