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JRae_Anderson
Contributor

Does anyone use horses anymore?

I grew up in cattle country (the Nebraska Sandhills), but my family never raised any. As of 5-6 years ago, ranchers up in that area still used horses (mostly) for branding and cattle drives. A feedlot worker that I used to train a few horses for told me the lot he works for has now converted completely to 4-wheelers to work cattle.

Is that the case elsewhere?

Are people transitioning to 4-wheelers, UTVs, etc. or still utilizing horses when possible?

Why the change from horses to vehicles? Efficiency? Cost?

It'd be interesting to hear your views!

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5 Replies
hardnox604008
Advisor

Re: Does anyone use horses anymore?

Not my part of the world.

 

But I recall a piece on the subject done by a news show some time ago.

 

The rancher said that while it seems romantic to be working from horseback the truth is that durn things will up and run off when you get off to work on a fence or some such.

 

At least the ATV stays where you parked it.

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Shaggy98
Senior Advisor

Re: Does anyone use horses anymore?

Not many horses around here, mainly just feed yard pen riders. The ATV/UTV has been substituted.
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highyields
Senior Contributor

Re: Does anyone use horses anymore?

Someone told me once that when you are on a horse you have two brains working for you....an ATV you only have one,,,

 

 

 

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jling01
Contributor

Re: Does anyone use horses anymore?

Horses are pertty much a thing of the past in my area unless they are for rodeo use or pleasure riding.

 

With an atv you just fill it up with gas when you need it, instead of feeding hay year round and taking up pen space.

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Longcreekfarms
Senior Contributor

Re: Does anyone use horses anymore?

Jling hit it square on. When you turn the key off, the 4wheeler stops eating. That being said, theres no replacement for a good horse either. I had a yellow horse years ago that I'd take to jackpots on the weekend and use him in pasture during the week. Cattle spook less around a horse and this one had learned to take little baby steps and sneak through a bunch of cows and calves while they laid in the shade.
Had a bad year of pinkeye and must have doctored 30 calves this way. Rope one and tie off, horse keeps the rope tight and the calf on the ground while you stick him. Virtually no stress like there is chasing down with a atv.
Been known to tie off to a wheeler too, but it's a wreck! A 3 weight calf can take your ride away if you don't find a tree to drive around pretty quick!
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