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horses and cows

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  • horses and cows

    Thoughts on how to get horses used to cows? Any tricks or suggestions or just let them figure it out after a few days? Main concern right now is water (since the weather is nice and I don't have to worry about rain...yet). The mares haven't had much to drink (I just picked them up yesterday afternoon), despite it being available. I took a bucket last night and a freshly scrubbed muck tub of water out to them this morning. They want nothing to do with the barn since that's where the cows were yesterday... and of course that's where the water trough is.
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike

  • #2
    They get over it after giraffe-ing and snorting for a while. As soon as my horses realized cowz run away from them, everyone settled right down (except the ones who thought it was a great new game).

    You might try giving grain or treats where the horses can see/smell cow. It took my guys just a few hours.
    ---------------------------

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    • #3
      Make sure your fences are good then turn them all out. The horses will figure it out especially if you don't play into their fear. Next thing you know they'll be fussing at the cows and chasing them off the water.
      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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      • #4
        ^^ That.

        I know your new girls aren't big fans, but just put them together and ignore the situation for a while. They are at an age where they can process danger/not danger and realize that being spoiled won't win them anything . They'll drink.
        COTH's official mini-donk enabler

        "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Ok. Will do. Thanks for the reassurances. I just had all my perimeter fencing redone a month ago (and LOVE it) so no worries on that. it's a 2.5 acre pasture right off the barn - used as a run in, approx 30x40. The cows seem to spend most of the afternoon laying in the barn along hte concrete foundation walls (must be cooler). The pasture is cross-fenced with electric tape to form an exterior "track" around the perimeter. That's what everyone is currently out on. The cows were grazing on one side and the girls were giving them the big hairy eyeball from the other when I left for work this morning. But if it's a "get over it" attitude that needs to be had, so be it. I can do tough love.
          ************
          "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

          "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike

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          • #6
            If Rory can get over his ZOMG! with the mini donk in 20 minutes (and no one does ZOMG! like Rory does), Spi and Shirley will be fine with the cows by the end of the day.
            COTH's official mini-donk enabler

            "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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            • #7
              I had the opposite problem with my guy when I was boarding. The barn owner had about a half dozen young steer in one pasture, & asked if it would be okay if my guy went out with them. I didn't have a problem with it.

              About a week later, barn owner told me he had to move my guy into another pasture because he spent all his time chasing the cattle. Said that he bought the cattle to fatten up for sale, & that my horse was running all the weight off of them - lol!!!

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              • #8
                LOL Bacardi! I had the same issue. My current horse got used to huge Black Angus heifers at a barn I boarded at that was a working Angus farm. They were right across the fence, and my friend and I would routinely ride out to check fences/cows and trail ride the huuuuuge pastures/timber. He was spooky about them at first, but I started cantering him TOWARDS the calves (who were on the other side of the fence) and when they would run, his ears would perk up. No problem with cows after that.

                Fast forward several years, and I was keeping him at a friend's pasture, which also housed about 20 yearling cattle. I just turned him loose after showing him where the water trough was (also had access to a lake), the gates, and the fencing near the barn. He did his arab flag-tail routine for about ten seconds, then started grazing. One of my favorite pictures is of him being followed by the whole herd.

                Fast forward another year. Brought him back to same pasture, this time with big TB friend who was built like a brick shithouse. Turned Bailey loose, no problems, but lunged Big TB for a bit to get the nerves out and to let him see that cattle were No Big Thang. Turned him loose, and apparently those cattle were much braver than the first batch because they came RUNNING to greet their new friends. Snorting, flag tails, bucking, and charging around ensued. Cattle chasing horses, mild heart attack, but they finally settled in. About five minutes later, horses chasing cattle, about fell over laughing. Bailey never hesitated to get after the cattle, especially if they were in the feed lot and he was being fed. But the Big TB posed a problem and would chase them on a regular basis, but also bite and kick them if he cornered one.

                He was sold, pronto. Nothing like an angry call from the person who owns the pasture your horses live on, for free, to get a horse gone.
                runnjump86 Instagram

                Horse Junkies United guest blogger

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                • #9
                  Just keep in mind that, if you pasture horses with cattle, it is common to come some day to find a chewed up tail on your horse/s.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Started doing some ground work with the girls last night. Oh boy. I get it, I really do. In 24 hours EVERYTHING they knew was taken away EXCEPT each other. And I was already warned that they had some separation anxiety to start with when initially moved away from one another. I guess the good thing is that the separation anxiety more or less out-did the cow anxiety.

                    But at this point I don't think I'll have problems with chewed tails. They're STILL keeping their distance... as in they stick to the opposite side of the pasture. The cows are simply not caring one way or another and are going about their business. The horses are very anxious about the cows. Still.

                    Can I borrow a headstrong cow pony to teach these 2 OTTB weenies a thing or 2 about how to deal with cows?
                    ************
                    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

                    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      IMHO and experience.....once the horse gets that the cows are "afraid" and will move away from them...then there is no problem.

                      Years ago I had a TB mare and boarded at a western barn... a cow was in the ring for them to "practice" on and my mare pretty much flipped.....UNTIL.. one cowboy said have your mare "chase" the cow. I gave it a try and WOW, she settled right down and wasn't afraid.

                      Since then when riding a horse "afraid" of cows-- I immediately have the horse (ok, try) move/approach the cow...and once the cow balks....the horse feels much more comfortable....not terrified.

                      This can be scary--especially when the horse wants NOTHING to go with going towards a cow.....BUT-- I will say "push through" b/c once the horse realizes the cow will back off.....the horse calms.....

                      noodles

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                      • #12
                        Hmm I took my 17.1h gelding to a sorting. There was no chance in hell we were getting near the cows. Just seeing them sent him rearing, and crashing into walls. His former owner did warn me that he didn't like cows!

                        He's gonna have to deal when we put cows on the farm. I think that will be an interesting day. It was literally violent when he spotted the cows from a distance at the sorting. All common sense went out the window. He was fear driven and forgot all about me. I think we'll stick to the hunter ring for now.
                        Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                        White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                        Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
                          I had the opposite problem with my guy when I was boarding. The barn owner had about a half dozen young steer in one pasture, & asked if it would be okay if my guy went out with them. I didn't have a problem with it.

                          About a week later, barn owner told me he had to move my guy into another pasture because he spent all his time chasing the cattle. Said that he bought the cattle to fatten up for sale, & that my horse was running all the weight off of them - lol!!!
                          LOL! Yes, we had that problem! My gelding and mare were turned out on 30 acres with my dad's beef cows and Jet would intentionally wait until the little ones were laying down napping, and he would run full speed into the group, scattering them everywhere, and then would pick on one to chase! They weren't in with the cows very long!
                          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My TB is still terrified of cattle, but his reaction upon seeing them out in the arena at my neighbor's the other day was to drag me down the street so he could check them out. Snorting and blowing the whole way.


                            It was only when I asked him to turn away from them that there was a problem. "But MOM! The monsters are behind me!"

                            Total difference from the two mares who are both bred to chase cattle and on their first interaction with a bull they instinctively got low, pinned ears and backed him off.
                            Originally posted by Silverbridge
                            If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by netg View Post
                              My TB is still terrified of cattle, but his reaction upon seeing them out in the arena at my neighbor's the other day was to drag me down the street so he could check them out. Snorting and blowing the whole way.


                              It was only when I asked him to turn away from them that there was a problem. "But MOM! The monsters are behind me!"

                              Total difference from the two mares who are both bred to chase cattle and on their first interaction with a bull they instinctively got low, pinned ears and backed him off.
                              I have a little mare that was born on a ranch and worked for a living working cows on a ranch or feed lot up until last year. She is 12. I have worked cows on her and boy is she cowy, and so darned quick it intimidated me a bit.

                              I have had two instances that riding a horse not scared of cows with people who had "non-cow" horses has saved our bacon.

                              A couple of months ago we went on a competitive trail ride and came across a cranky range bull. He dropped his head and came on at us down a hill, and my little mare dropped her head, pinned her ears and we sent him on his way. The other horses were ready to leave, but settled when my mare turned him and went back to walking down the trail.

                              Yesterday I was riding with my sis in law on her new horse and we were figuring out what he knows. We knew he had been started roping in an arena, but mostly just tracked a few calves inside the arena. We came across about 20 heifers that came running at us to check us out. Her horse really wasn't sure about all those cows coming at him all at once. I moved (trotted) them off 3 times, the last time moved the old lead cow off farther away and they gave up on their fun. My little mare knew that job and didn't care that the other horse moved off to long safe distance to watch. Right back to walking down the trail.....

                              I have so much pasture right now so my son in law brought me 3 little early weaner calves. They are so cute, herefords. My daughter's qh gelding has worked some cattle, but he cannot figure out why those small red things are in his pasture. I have the horses and calves separated, but eventually they may end up together. Most likely I will just rotate them to different pastures. My mare will happily move them for me when the time comes.

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