The Missouri Horse Council maintains that horses are livestock and “supports the legal definition of all domesticated equines to remain as livestock and opposes the current social trend of referring to them as pets or companion animals.” This is a stance taken by many similar associations in the United States and Canada. Those who make their living as trainers, breeders, dealers and running boarding stables and schools may lose the benefit of being an agricultural endeavor if a horse were regarded solely as a companion animal.
A good deal of research into equine diseases, vaccines and husbandry is government funded. Husbandry and humane treatment laws might not apply if horses were designated companion animals.
Many states are passing limited liability laws, which protect livestock owners and livestock event organizers (like cattle and horse shows) from lawsuits from anyone who is injured by a potentially large and dangerous animal such as a (cattle) -beast or horse. Considering that most of us do regard our horses not just as companions, but family members, our ultimate goal should be the best possible care, in addition to protecting ourselves.
Wild Horses and cattle, the two most popular livestock in America’s western rang elands, may not seem to have much in common. In fact, they are vastly different, but one major similarity they share is their relationship with human development.
The history of wild horses can be traced back to prehistoric times, with stories of their great strength and ability to race down the game. But the introduction of cattle by the Spanish made it necessary for farmers to find new methods to keep livestock in better condition.
Cattle were introduced to the West as a way to increase rang eland ecology, improve the land, and make it more productive. As more horses were imported from Mexico, Arizona, and Texas to graze in ranch lands, the cattle and rang eland ecosystems faced a new challenge.
As more horses arrived in the West, their numbers grew out of control, and less of the population had proximity to cattle. Because of the lack of space available in rang eland areas, many ranchers found that they had to use fencing to help regulate the horse population.
And as more horses were left on the range, ranchers had to fight to keep them in safe locations and away from potential conflicts with cattle. However, with the ability of modern technology to help, ranch operations are finding creative ways to keep the horses and cattle together.
The argument that these and other millionaire cattle ranchers have across the United States, is that the wild horses are eating too much of the grass on the range, and drinking too much water. Please read below to get a better understanding of the water and forage intake of cattle versus horses on America’s public lands.
The only way to combat the propaganda and back-room political promises is to disseminate the truth about grazing rights. A horse drinks approximately 8-14 gallons a day, depending upon the heat and level of exercise.
It’s obvious that it’s not the horses who are to blame for any water shortage in the United States, and especially not in Utah. Because they will eat almost anything in front of them, they are ideal to clear high grasses that grow out in the wild.
There are numerous studies done on the destructive force that grazing cattle have on our environment. Not only do cattle increase methane and other greenhouse gasses, their foraging habits create very real fire dangers that can decimate the natural ecosystem.
Cattle can also negatively change the soil characteristics and can also prevent future plant growth. Overall, cattle move very little, but must eat a lot, meaning that they completely consume all the natural plants and grasses in a small area.
Horses will refuse to eat a number of different plants, instead feasting on the grasses that are available. These private cattle ranchers are knowingly overgrazing their herds on federal lands.
If there is a water shortage, it’s much more likely to be due to the overwhelming number of cattle, not a handful of horses. If the legislators want to preserve our federal lands and reduce the cost to taxpayers, they will greatly reduce the number of cattle on federal lands and use Pop on wild horses to help manage their herd size instead of rounding up horses, which costs millions and ends up killing and brutalizing horses.
Unfortunately, many of these legislators and even the BLM are at the beck and call of the cattle ranchers, and, as a result, completely ignore both blatant facts and even common sense, and instead focus the blame of what is obviously not the result of the wild horses, onto the wild horses. Between 1865 and the mid-1890s, cowboys horseback pushed more than 5 million head of longhorn cattle from Texas to the stockyards of Kansas.
Many ranchers graze their cattle on vast stretches of public lands until it’s time to gather the herd. While modern cattle drives are not as long as historic ones, horses remain vital to such ranch activities because they are specialized working animals.
In Texas, when the cattle drive began, cowboys needed tough horses for gathering longhorns and pushing them to market. Before the cattle drive begins, ranchers and their ranch hands gather the cattle on a “roundup.” A cowboy on foot can’t keep up with the herd, while ATVs can’t navigate narrow trails, deep grass or cross rivers like horses can.
Horses help move cattle from one pasture to another or gather cows and calves from grazing lands. Before it snows, ranch hands use their horses to comb the backcountry, collecting cattle over several days.
Ranch hands position horses and riders around the herd on a cattle drive. The horses pay attention and are ready to redirect a stray calf or turn the herd left or right.
If a bull is tagging along, horses, and most riders, have the sense to simply let him follow the herd. A good ranch horse will sense movement from the herd, displaying intelligence and boldness on a cattle drive.
One of the reasons that quarter horses are prized for driving cattle even today is for their calmness. Horses are important to a lifestyle and industry that is based on the traditional cowboy culture that came out of Texas with cattle drives.
September 30, 2015January 11, 2018By Kentucky Equine Research StaffAcross the globe, horses and cattle can be found grazing peacefully together. Differences in anatomy, however, dictate what stands of grass each grazes, at least in terms of plant maturity.
For horses, an appropriate deforming protocol should be discussed with a veterinarian to target prevalent parasites,” advised Randell. A common neophyte that infects rescue causes reproductive problems in mares, including prolonged pregnancies, thickened placentas leading to difficult births, and insufficient milk production.
Though cattle seem to be contained easily enough with barbed-wire fencing, it should not be used to enclose horses as devastating injuries can occur. I would never give horses feed made solely for ruminant species.
In a perfect situation all feeds fed to horses are milled through dedicated equine lines that never come in to contact with feed containing ionospheres and other potentially harmful medications. Assuming this mixed-use feed is ionosphere free there are other factors that make it a less-than-optimal choice for horses.
This is because in their digestive tracts, the source of microbial fermentation, precedes the site of protein absorption. In the horse the main site of protein digestion and absorption (the small intestine) occurs before the cecum and colon where the massive population of fiber utilizing microbes live.
Horses, therefore, have a limited ability to utilize microbes as a source of protein unless they eat their feces. For this reason the dietary protein provided in an equine ration must be of better quality than that fed to ruminants such as cattle.
These are essential amino acids that the horse is unable to make, and they must, therefore, be in the diet. Cattle and other ruminants can rely on their microbial protein as a source of these key amino acids, but for horses need them in the diet.
Inadequate amounts of lysine and methionine have implications for coat and hoof quality as well as muscle production, immune function, hormone production, digestive enzymes, and many other processes. Horses require more vitamin E as work increases due to the oxidation products generated in muscle tissue.
Obviously this type of work is not a concern for cattle, and an all-stock feed may only provide 20 international units (IU) per pound versus the maintenance feed for adult horses that provides 80 IU of vitamin E per pound. For working horses the level of vitamin E will be higher, possibly upwards of 100 IU per pound.
In the long run, you’re better off using a feed specifically designed to meet equine dietary needs. A collection of respected ranchers, horsemen, stock men and industry experts lists 12 reasons why horses remain the best tools for gathering and working cattle.
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.
However, drive-thru windows, overnight shipping, iPhones and instant messaging don’t compute to a cow and her newborn calf. All the chaos prompted rancher Bud Williams to begin touring the country 20 years ago, teaching improved methods for working cattle, now commonly termed low-stress livestock handling.
Other clinicians have followed in Williams’ footsteps, including Curt Pate, Ron Gill and Todd McCartney. The trio of stock men last year partnered with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and traveled to 20 states, demonstrating low-stress workmanship and stewardship techniques.
Many other stock men are convinced that nothing compares to working cattle from the saddle. A horse gives you an extra set of eyes when gathering.
Driving cattle with horses, though slow-paced, is efficient and easy on cow-calf pairs. “When you’re trailing cattle, the back end can’t run over the front .
If you drive a bunch of cows and calves, handle them rough and tough and quick, the next thing you know, all the calves are away from the cows and running back, and the cowboys are running this way and every way to contain them. “I bought about 700 heifers back in the ’60s or early ’70s, and I didn’t know that they had been gathered with helicopters all their lives.
“When you’re running yearlings in big fields, the only way to doctor is horseback. Nowadays, guys don’t cowboy as well because the only thing they know is how to arena rope.
When sorting in the herd, a calm horse does the job smoothly. “The old timers would talk about how a good horse in the herd would never raise his head above the saddle horn.
When working cattle, you need to release pressure quicker. We’re running cattle in big areas, and some of them are pretty rough.
“Your horse walks all day, so you stay fresher and don’t get as tired. “If your country is flat, and you say, ‘We can get anywhere we want to with a four-wheeler, and we go slow and our cattle are gentle, and we enjoy our four-wheelers,’ and you give all these reasons, I often say, ‘What’s the resale value on your four-wheelers?’ They do nothing but decrease in value.
A lot of times when you’re looking for the animals in estrus, they may sense a movement and look to where one cow is riding another before you do. Or you’re loping across big country and all of a sudden your horse jumps or swerves, and there was a huge hole there that you never saw.
She was pretty young and hadn’t done that before, but she figured out what we were doing and began using just her head to sort those calves. All of those things are required for a horse, and all of those are good for the inside of a man.
This article was originally published in the June 2009 issue of Western Horseman. Located on the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Mark dale Station is rich in history and offers an out-of-the ordinary experience to fire up the senses of horse enthusiasts.
Enjoy a real horse and cattle mustering experience watching the dogs work and help to move the livestock to their new paddocks. We are truly passionate about providing authentic, immersive and distinctive riding experiences with the absolute best expert guides Australia has to offer.
This is one of the most sparsely populated areas on earth and everything here is rare and remote, from the ancient rock formations, the history of the Aboriginal people and the vast cattle stations which have been featured in many epic movies. It is an area that features national parks, Victoria’s highest mountains, lakes, resorts, vineyards and a rich history including gold discovery, right where you will enjoy your horseback adventures.
Horse and cattle lovers can now fulfill their wish of keeping the animals at home. If you can not afford a big stable for your horse or cattle, you can always go for a small loafing shed.
They will adjust easily at your place by living in their own small space. You can make stalls in the shed for multiple horses, cattle, or even park your tractors, etc.
On the other hand, making a shelter at home is inexpensive and a fun job. The loafing shed provides a better ventilation system for the livestock, which in turn keep their lungs healthy.
Check out how to build a 12×24 loafing shed to keep your bunch of cattle safe. A rancher or not, but this loafing shed plan can be a safe place to park your tractors, vehicles, cart, or get your cattle.
Just don’t forget to buy weather-resistant lumber to make it more sturdy. Moreover, the supplies required are a few pieces of lumber, screws, nails, safety gloves and glasses, and a drill machine.
If you are not raising a huge bunch of cattle or farm animals, this 13×16 shed plan can be perfect to utilize a small area. Protect your cattle from rain, wind, or any other strong weather conditions.
Like heavy rainfall, intense heat, and strong wind. This 8×24 run-in shed plan will help you to save your livestock from any damage that harsh weather might pose.
Start by making cuts for the rafter of the shed roof and then moving ahead. This 12×24 loafing shed roof plan is going to provide shelter to your cattle, especially if you live in a heavy snowfall location.
Whether you construct it to park your tractor, your cart, your cattle, or anything else, it has to be sturdy and weather resistant. Hit the link below and get the free plan lists and details to get started.
A 10×12 run-in shed plan can be a perfect and sturdy place to store your tools and supplies. It is suggested that you use high-quality building materials like cedar or pine wood to make your loafing shed more weather resistant.
Find out the plan and the list of tools and supplies you would be needing to construct this project. If there is plenty of other food, such as grass or hay available, your horse probably won’t touch any of the trees within its reach.
But, if it gets bored or hungry, to satisfy its need to graze, your horse might try chewing on tree bark, branches or leaves. Generally, horse owners don’t plant trees in pastures for this reason.
Saplings have a good chance of being aggressively pruned by horses --to the point where you’ll be left with nothing but a ragged stick. If you do plant trees, you’ll need to find a way to safely protect them, until they are large enough that they are no longer a tender snack.
Chances are if your horse snatches a mouthful of red maple or oak leaves while trail riding, it won’t be harmed. But if your horse gets hungry or greedy, a stomach full of leaves or tender bark could spell trouble, however.
But, during drought, when pasture grass is sparse, your horse might snack on the trees despite the taste. In the springtime, emerging leaves may taste fresher to your horse than a dry hay bale.
Instead, be vigilant for opportunities or situations that might lead to your horse ingesting any part of a toxic tree. Even though these trees are safe, a horse can still overeat bark, twigs or leaves, which can lead to colic.