Sunday, March 16, 2014
Stockmanship Schools Designed To Meet Federal Grazing Regulations
Environmental groups are filing multiple lawsuits in several western states preventing ranchers from turning out on their leases. In part, these litigations stem from ranchers not meeting stubble height and riparian regulations. Until we can get these grazing requirements changed, the only thing we can do to circumvent more lawsuits is to follow these regulations as closely as possible.
Trying to control cattle on allotments using temporary electric fence has proven to be only partially effective, and barely worth the cost of fencing, let alone extra labor.
In order to precisely control grazing to meet federal regulations for stubble height and riparian usage in an effective way, cattle need to be acting as a herd. When they are doing this, the cattle graze together and water together. With this behavior it is a simple matter of a rider catching cattle on their way to water and deflecting them to a new drinking spot each day, then sending them out to a new place to graze. My stockmanship schools are specifically designed for students to learn how to instill herd instinct so they may easily meet federal allotment grazing requirements.
Limited to eight riders per class, classes are entirely hands on. Early morning and late afternoon sessions students will work on actually instilling herd instinct into cattle in the pasture. In between pasture sessions students will concentrate on working cattle in pens. Unlike other schools, we concentrate on natural reactions cattle have to what we do with our horses, as well as the horsemanship involved in taking full advantage of these reactions. By the end of the five days, the pasture cattle will be acting and handling as a herd, and the students will have the pasture cattle acting as a herd like the 500+ cows in the picture below.
The following short video show the changes of behavior between the first and fifth day of the school.