I Wanna Start Team Penning but Not Sure How - Advice?
So I really, really want to try team penning! Here's my horse
His name is Rocky and he is an 18 year old appendix quarter horse. I know he is a little old but he still has some spunk left in him. He can be fast but usually he prefers to be slow. Would he be an okay team penning horse? Atleast until I get more serious about team penning and become a better rider?
Do you need 3 people in order to show? My best friend is getting a horse and wants to do team penning and barrel racing. I told her I would help her and do team penning with her but my horse is too old for barrels. So my friend can do team penning with me but if we need 3 people we don't know how to get another person.
How do you get your horse used to calves? My dad works on a dairy farm that is up the road and is owned by my uncle so I know I can get a few calves from him to practice with but how do you introduce your horse to them for the first time? Also how do you properly train a horse for team penning?
Lastly, where can I find out about begginer shows near me? I have looked around on the internet and found nothing. :-| Does 4H do team penning? (I've looked on their website and couldnt find it) If so, I can maybe join 4H?? I don't know, so that why I'm asking you guys! I think 4H enrollment already past though anyways.
I'm 13 and my friend is 12 in case there are age groups or something. I honestly have no clue on how to get into a team penning comepetition. :oops:
My advice would be to find people in your area that do Ranch Sorting and/or Team Penning. Personally, I would start with sorting. Most areas where sorting/penning is popular, there are people that hold practice sessions at their own places. They usually welcome newcomers and will help people get started. It is best for a beginner to learn how to sort cattle with an experienced partner. The first thing you need to learn is 'where to be'. It would pay to watch some sorting practice sessions so you can learn more about how to handle cattle and how to be in the right place.
As for your horse, about any horse can do some sorting. The 'handier' a horse is, the better he is suited to sorting and penning. A good 'handle' (a quick stop and turn-around or roll-back) are absolutely essential. A horse must move its shoulders quickly and willingly in order for the rider to be in the right place in a timely manner. If your horse does not have a great handle on him, I would work first on that while you spend time watching and learning the game.
Any horse will run and chase cattle. It takes a lot of training to teach one to 'work' cattle. Putting a good handle on one before asking for any speed or run is absolutely necessary or you just make a horse go crazy and he will run over cattle or turn them the wrong way.
How do I find people near me?
once again good advice cherie, but I have to sort of disagree on any horse can do it ( if you want to be competitive).
I had a pleasure bred mare that was trained really well- I was not competitive on her as she had 0 desire for it ( not to mention she really just wasn't built for it which didnt help matters).
if your doing it for fun then its ok to be on a horse that maybe isnt the greatest at it, but if you want to be good at it, you need to assess your horses desire to work a cow.
Absolutely agree -- if you want to be competitive, you have to be well mounted.
That being said, if the OP already knows how to move and handle cows, then she needs to be mounted well enough to get there.
The way we put a 'handle' on a horse is to teach it from day 1 to move its shoulders. If that takes a short bat or tap on its shoulders or a spur at the girth or ???, we strive to get a horse 'light' on the bit, responsive to leg and rein, and to MOVE its shoulders. Did I say it has to move its shoulders? It is all in shoulder control.
The best tool for teaching this is one critter (can be cow, steer, heifer, bison -- my favorite or even a goat or llama) in a 150 foot round pen. You teach the horse to drive the critter forward, then walk parallel to it and finally step a step in front of its 'drive line' to stop it. When the critter stops, you teach the horse to stop with it. When the critter turns and goes the other direction you teach the horse to back up one or two steps straight (this 'loads' its hind end) and you teach it to roll back toward the critter. This should be a 'true roll-back where the horse steps BEHIND its front foot with the other front foot. [Most reining roll-backs are not true roll-backs -- they are just 1/2 of a turn-around or spin.] It should learn to 'sweep' around in front by moving its shoulder the full 180 degrees or close to it. Then, when the horse is facing the direction the critter is facing, the rider drives it forward to catch up. If you have a horse with any 'cow' in it, it will start hurrying the roll-back on its own.. It is best if the horse 'wants' to get turned around and you only hurry it to catch up. They stay more correct that way.
The big thing you want to teach while the horse is going parallel to the critter is to keep its head looking slightly toward the critter and keeping its ribs bent out away from the critter. In other words, the horse is moving with reverse bend, coming off of the rider's cow-side leg.
The other big thing is to NOT LET the horse flop its butt out (away from the cow) when the cow stops. The horse MUST learn to hold its ground behind, keep its ribs and shoulders out (away from cow), stop while staying parallel to the cow, load its hind end by stepping back, sweep the ground to change directions by only moving its shoulders and then catch up to the cow. When you go to catch up to the cow, the round pen lets you make a smaller circle so you do not just 'chase' the cow. Your cow-side leg should push your horse away from the cow to make that circle smaller while staying parallel to your critter.
You do not teach this, even to a talented horse, overnight. If you take the time and patience to teach a horse to stay correct, you will soon see how much 'cow' your horse has. The ones with a lot of cow try to do too much too quickly. The disinterested ones will just not learn to stop when the cow stops.
If you can afford it, the best way to start sorting is to buy a horse that is already pretty well trained. It is a lot easier to learn where to be when the horse tries to get there for you.
As for finding someone to practice with ---
NY is not exactly like living in OK or TX. Are there any Ranch Sorting or Team Penning competitions near you. If you can find a competition near you, I would just go and get acquainted. Find the people from your area and ask if you can come and play with them. Most people will let others practice and play with them if they pay a 'stock charge' to off-set cattle costs and feed.
We love our bison. I have had two or more here for about 15 years. I have two now. One Bison in a round pen will let you teach many horses how to be where you want them to be. A 150 foot round pen can even be used with two riders and two horses. One rider just 'works' the other horse and rider the same as if it was a critter. This is obviously not as good as working a cow, but you can give a horse a reason to be where you want him to be. A 'flag' does the same thing. Horses learn to work them and they give the rider the chance teach the straight stop, the step back and the roll-back.
Hope this helps.
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