Training a Horse to Work Cattle

In this video, pro Trainer Larry Trocha demonstrates how to start and school a young or green horse on a cow.


Mr. Trocha prepares to work a four year old gelding on a cow. The goals are to work on certain things, as this horse was never really finished. The main issues are

  1. The horse wants to work with his head elevated, so the goal is to lower the head while he’s working a cow.
  2. The horse also has a tendency to fire a little too hard and too quick before it’s time – so Larry’s going to hold the horse off the cow a little bit, make him a litte “late.”
  3. He also wants to get more leg control on this horse. Larry wants to be able to ride him forward with his feet, and when he quits riding the horse should stop. He wants the horse “between his legs” – so if Larry uses his right leg on the horse, and bumps him with it, the horse looks and goes to the left (usually to go to the cow). Same thing with his left leg, if he bumps the horse with his left leg, the horse should go to the right. So having him right in-between your legs allows you to either keep the horse up out of the herd, or get him to fade off the cow more, or get him to stay up to the cow more.

The training methods illustrated in this video works well for cutting horses, reined cow horse and ranch sorting horses. The main goals in this horse training session, include:

  • training a horse to work cattle while carrying his head lower
  • to work with better form and style
  • rate the cow more accurately yet not over-respond and fire too hard

For more great videos and information on training, check out Larry Trocha’s website: