Tips for Low-Stress Cattle Gathering and Driving

If you want to develop your stockmanship skills, you're in the right place. Thanks to the talents and contributions of Whit Hibbard, there's a whole library at your fingertips. Today, we're adding more with some summaries of his instructions, along with videos illustrating his points. (Some of these were taken on horseback, so you'll notice a bit of bumpiness. Consider it a virtual horseback ride.) Beginning the Drive Get things off to a good start by approaching animals in a non-threatening way (i.e., at an oblique angle, not directly towards them). Start slowly, giving them time to decide to move off of your pressure, so it becomes their idea to head in the direction you want. Conventional handlers tend to make them move off, often by inducing fear (e.g., by yelling, siccing the dogs on them). This video is a good example of how to start off, riding in a straight-line zigzag pattern behind the herd which applies effective pressure into their sides which they tend to walk away from  straight, or at a 90 degree angle to the baseline of the zigzag. This initiates what we call “good movement” in a herd. Getting Good Movement When you're gathering cattle to drive them, getting "good movement" started is very important. Good movement is when animals are contentedly trailing out at their own pace and their minds are going forward. In other words, they want to go where we want them to go. This video shows me gathering a herd of 604 yea

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