Dealing with a cow requires courage.
Dealing with a horse requires skill and discipline.
To combine both – requires a lot of patience and conviction!
From August 4-5, 2018 in Obertaufkirchen we were able to experience that this is sweaty and still fun.

Richard Forster’s Bullero Ranch is the ideal place for cattle training with Steffen Liebhold. The last few metres lead to the farm in western style and on their own, past a well-secured pasture for bison. On the hill lie mothers with their calves. The deep calling of the young among themselves in each cell reminds of a long time ago, when humans were not yet separated from these animals by a fence.

The Zebu herd on the opposite side of the path seems bright and curious – these are our training partners for the next 2 days.

Morning summary, preview of the riders after a short introduction and off we go.
The first 3 riders are already riding in when Steffen Liebhold lets the 12 Zebu’s into the hall. Here we go.
But nobody has to approach the cattle alone – after all, we have some „newcomers“ with us, whether horse or rider. The trainer accompanies each individual participant with an experienced quarterhorse mare, so that the guest horse can have a close look at this unusual species. Everyone is a bit nervous but good with the help of the riders.

Circumnavigating the herd, dividing the cattle group, awake horses are in demand. That the breed does not play a role here is remarkably evident with Sandra Fencl’s Iceland mare, who also took part in the course. Size is not decisive – the presence and self-confidence are the basis for cattle work – and this mare, which was a little bigger than the cattle, brought both in a large portion.

There were all horse breeds represented and also all age groups – you can get an impression in the video and on the pictures ( many thanks to Biggy for the wonderful photos and also my sincere thanks to Sandra Fencl for the video)

After a well-deserved lunch break (here the mother still cooks personally :-)) we immediately went on again. Again 3 groups with 3 riders each, everyone came for riding and driving. Cattle selection is trained, behavior is assessed and correspondingly fast reacts. It takes just 1 second to decide between success and failure. The Zebu’s are slim and fast and they already know horse and rider from the morning. Steffen Liebhold supports from the ground and gives patient but direct instructions. Shows by own body language how ways are cut off and the cattle are led.
Short summary in the evening and then off to the grill. In the best summer weather we grill and eat outside at the riding arena – a successful conclusion for a strenuous 1st day.

2nd day
A little tired but highly motivated, the first riders ride their horses warmly. Today it’s getting more demanding! What you learned yesterday is to be implemented immediately and combined with something new.

TEAMWORK is the name of the game – yet keep your cool and stay focused. No wild rush and I’m deeply impressed to watch. Nowadays, all course participants have a much better overview and scythe for driving the cattle. Cattle are driven across the line almost like professionals, manoeuvres are ridden and cheered on with a loud voice. RESPECT!!

There are so many tears of the previous day forgotten and the horses slowly know their task. In these fast manoeuvres some weaknesses still show up – cattle driving is not learned in 1 or 2 days. But the laughter has not yet passed them all and the work in the team unites. The trainer’s praise is sure and after a second training session the horse shower has its charm. The sweat is running – not only with the horses. At a temperature of about 36 degrees, Obertaufkirchen feels almost like the Wild West or the landscape of Portugal.

I was really looking forward to seeing all of you at this course and I really wanted to try it out.
We found a good teacher. Steffen Liebhold has made the course interesting and entertaining with patience and exercises adapted to the rider-horse pair. His many years of experience in cattle work in various countries of the world, he gladly contributed as course content.

My big thanks go to Richard Forster, owner of the Bullero Ranch, for providing us with his wonderful equipment and for making everything perfect with many invisible aids. I would also like to thank the great course participants, each of you made this course interesting and lively and of course Steffen Liebhold, who kept the overview of everything and kept us „piles“ together.
See for yourself in the video – take a look!

It is certain that this was not the last cattle course with Steffen Liebhold. WEN could win him for further dates!
You will find them on my homepage and on Facebook as an event – we look forward to your participation.

Kerstin Minks
Working Equitation News

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