Though the DVD set that we sell has only about a half-hour of video of people actually working livestock (the rest of the time I am talking and diagramming on the black board), at our 2-day Stockmanship Schools we are showing video of working livestock over half of the time. We have found that people learn much more at these schools than the schools where we actually worked animals. It’s pretty hard to convince a cow to “back up and do it again” because a student missed the cue that she sent the first time.
My method of working livestock consists of learning to “read” what the animal is telling you and change your position so that she wants to go where you want her to go. It is important that the animals do not consider you a threat to them. People have written articles about my Stockmanship methods, but if they use predator/prey examples you can be sure that they do not understand the concept at all. The last thing I want my animals to do is to think of me as a predator. My goal is not only to work livestock with very little stress but also to take existing stress off of them. By handling the animals this way, you will be able to get the job done more quickly, efficiently and with less cost than by the traditional methods. Some of the other by-products are increased performance and reduced health problems in the animals, as well as still being on speaking terms with the family after a day of working livestock together.