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The Stock Horse


A stock horse is a horse of a type that is well suited for working with livestock, particularly cattle. Such horses are riding horses characterized by agility, quickness, and powerful hindquarters. They are usually noted for intelligence and "cow sense," having an instinctive understanding of how to respond to the movement of cattle so as to move livestock in a desired manner with minimal or no guidance from their rider. Such horses are used both as working animals on livestock ranches or stations, and are also seen in competition where horses are evaluated on their ability to work cattle.A well finished stock horse is a prized animal to own. But what makes a good stock horse and what do you look for? Start by asking yourself the following:

 

 

 

• What are the qualities that you want?
• Does the horse you are considering to buy, have the qualities you’re looking for?
• What will the finished horse be able to do?
• Where will you start?


When training stock horses, we look for a well socialised animal that can stay calm and well behaved in different situations, whether it is being loaded in a trailer with other horses, riding on the trail, or resting at a rail tie.

One of the most important things a stock horse must be able to do is to be tied, maybe for hours, waiting for the work to begin.
 
• They need to stand anywhere you put them.
• They also need to be able to be mounted in quiet or hurried situations which often occur in farm/ranch life.
• They need to understand and get the feel of uneven ground and hills, valleys and crossing water.
• They need to know how to be ponied alongside other horses to different locations.
• They need to be exposed to stock and need to learn about cattle and sheep.

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