Now that horses can no longer be slaughtered for human consumption in the U.S., the horse industry is feeling the effects: experts point to a drop in the market, welfare groups are finding homes for more unwanted horses, but thousands more are heading for slaughter plants across the border.
Horses Handle It Best
A collection of respected ranchers, horsemen, stockmen and industry experts lists 12 reasons why horses remain the best tools for gathering and working cattle.
It almost seems too obvious to mention. Using horses, many ranchers explain, is still the best method for gathering and working cattle. Modern cowboys can roll out a list of reasons that reach beyond personal enjoyment, keeping with past traditions, or justifying some saddle-bound buckaroo image.
The old-time trail drovers, such as Andy Adams and Charles Goodnight, described at length how they rounded up wild cattle and pointed them northward across turbulent rivers, dry prairies and hostile Indian territory. But in researching their writings, it isn’t easy to find arguments for why horses were the best way to handle cattle. In those days, horses were the only vehicles designed for the task. It was simply too obvious to require explanation.