That seems extremely immature and childish on your friend's part, not to mention lacking in common sense. How is anyone supposed to learn anything if they don't just go and do it?
If you are going on a true cattle drive, main thing I can tell you is do NOT expect to quit and go home when you feel like it or whenever you get done "having fun". Cattle are work and they don't always behave accordingly. You'll get dirty, you'll be tired, probably will get saddle sore (depending on how long the cattel drive is), but know that you've accomplished a good day's work.
When getting cattle to move a certain direction (let's say we want them to go more toward the right) you need to place your horse at a particular distance and direction from the cow. In this case, you want your horse to be to the left and behind the cow's back left hip. Becuase you are behind the cow, it still encourages them to move forward. Because you are to the left of them, it encourages them to move to the right. The closer you are to the cow, the more you are "pressuring" them and you'll get a faster reaction. You will only place yourself ahead of the mid-section of the cow if you want them to turn around and go the other way. Otherwise, you need to at least stay behind the mid-point of the cow to be behind them to continue to encourage them to move forward.
So the trickiest part of a cattle drive is just learning how to handle the cow and how to get the responses from it that you want, based on the placement of your horse.
∞•*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*•∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.