Body Condition Scores for Horses
Saddles of the World
When traveling abroad, leave behind your expectations, and your saddle. Learn how four horse cultures outside the United States put their own spin on stock saddles.
Scarecrows vs. Scaresheep
Sometimes birds can be a nuisance. I don’t care if they’re blackbirds, pigeons, seagulls, starlings or guinea hens.
Starlings have always been a problem for feedlots. They eat a lot of grain, besides desecrating the feed bunks. One particular afternoon when I was having visions of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The Birds, I sent one of the feedlot hands to town to get some replicas of owls. I had read that decoy owls would scare off birds. I left that afternoon before he returned.
The next morning I got a call on the two-way from the boss. He was in a fowl mood (sorry). “What the *(#%@ do ya think this is? Halloween? Do ya think the EPA and the Audubon Society would approve? Are they waterproof? Packing guns? Where did you go to school again?”
Gambling on the Future
With racehorse welfare making national headlines, the horse industry is being scrutinized for putting money before the well-being of young animals. Racetrack injuries and deaths may have sparked mainstream interest in the issue, but high-stakes stock horse futurities beg the same question: ARE YOUNG HORSES PUSHED TOO HARD, TOO SOON?
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.