February 16, 2006 . . . What do you have on Halter Breaking of Cattle?
We don’t “have” anything on halter breaking cattle, but this is how we do it.
First and foremost, DO NOT tie the animal to anything solid until you have it leading well. All this teaches him is that he can’t move, and it makes it very difficult to actually teach it to lead.
Put the animal in a small pen, 20 feet x 20 feet or 30 feet x 30 feet is a good size.
Have a halter and lead rope on your animal. The lead rope should be long enough that by standing in the center of the pen, you can hold on to it with no pressure on the halter from any place the animal might go.
You will be in the middle of the pen. If the animal is spooky, just let him move around you until he settles down. Don’t hold any pressure on the rope at all. When he settles down a little, just pull (never jerk) his head towards you, then give him slack. By pulling from the side you can “un-track” (make him take a step towards you to keep his balance) an awfully large animal.
Never pull from directly in front, as you will only teach him that you aren’t strong enough to move him.
Never pull from behind as you will teach him that you aren’t strong enough to stop him.
Always give slack when he takes a step. Do not pull unless you are at the side and KNOW that you can make him take a step. Walk back and forth and all around, making him take a step towards you every time you are in the correct position to do so.
Even after the animal is well halter broke, always start leading him by pulling to the side to get him to take his first step.