Working Buffalo vs cows!
Ok, today at my new barn I was wondering why my horse was ooogling the cows a few pens away from the arena.....once I climbed on board him I realized the BO got some buffalo in!!!
Now I've worked cows before on different horses, have yet to work a cow on my new horse.....however I was wondering what the difference is with working buffalo compared to cows.....also, I was curious as to whether or not a buffalo would kill me if my horse layed me down while working one!!! They're kinda big!!! Good incentive to stay on!!
I know a guy that was trying to herd his buffalo herd. One of them charged his horse and knocked it down.
They like using buffalo over steers because they stay fresh. If you work the calves to much be it roping or cutting they start to learn habits ,don't run as hard etc,they predict what is going to happen & avoid it:lol:
Like painted said they don't sour. I took some lessons with a cowhorse trainer that had the same buffalo for 10 years!
I live down the road from Skip Brown and he had buffalo. I got to watch and they looked great.
Now he's doing something along the lines of mexican bucking bulls o.o but that's not for his cutting horses! LOL!
I don't know-personally I think they are scary. A friend of mine and I have always talked about riding in her buffalo pasture-not even trying to move them-and we always wimp out. But, hers are totally undomesticated-left to be wild without human contact, really. They most likely WOULD charge, since it is a huge herd, and they are a mixed group with babies even, and about 200 of them. It is tempting tho, when I read stuff like this....and know there is 600 acres they are on that we could be riding on......but I think I will leave the Buffalo for the dinner plate and chase the cows. lol
My neighbour used to raise bison and he would never actually herd them. He told me if you guide the leaders (2 or 3) then the rest would follow, but if you tried to herd them into a confined area, or backed them, the animal would charge. He only worked with them while he was in an enclosed vehicle or if he was behind and above them on his 12 foot steel-tubing fence. He didn't fool around with them.
I know some people like to work bison because they stay fresh, but I'd be too chicken.
One of my high school teachers was badly gored by one of his bison. He nearly died. He was on foot, but I wouldn't feel too safe on a horse, either.
I've also seen a bison bull that was very tame. The owners brought it to ag shows all around Alberta, and even into their house. But that guy was raised from a calf, and somehow decided humans were his buddies. I never trusted him, though, either. I don't think I even pet him, despite multiple opportunities.
I am a little paranoid about bison, but I've met at least two people who have been gored. They scare me more than black bears, and I sure wouldn't approach a bear on horseback!
Sorry for the double post, but I wanted to add that obviously people have been working bison successfully and, I assume, safely. If you actually want to work them, you should probably ask if there are specific things you should or should not do.
Cattle can be dangerous as well, of course, especially if they're not polled. But I think the bison might require a little more caution.
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