It can be challenging to learn herdwork. There’s so much to absorb about cattle, angles, making decisions about moving targets, etc. This is especially tough if you’ve had little to no experience with cattle before you started your cow career.
Then there’s more to add to the mix of challenges. There’s the impact of your draw in the herd, or the kind of cattle at the show that day (numb or wild or in between). Herdwork is just plain challenging.
It’s something we all work on… amateurs, nonpros, and professionals alike. You’re not alone.
To help you sort through how to improve your herdwork, try the following idea.
Watch your video and ask yourself the following questions. Look to see where an error just began to happen. Therein lies the magic place where your correction can be made next time.
1. Were you aware of taking each cow (on each cut) to the middle of the arena?
2. Were you aware to keep driving way up and away from the body of the herd on each cut? Where did you slow down when you could have kept stepping the cow forward?
3. What cuts worked well and what cuts did not?
4. Where exactly did things take a turn for the worse?
5. Were your moves smooth?
6. Did you apply enough pressure so that the cow moved at an even speed? If not, did you go too fast, or lag behind?
7. If you moved smoothly but the cow went the wrong way, exactly where were you when the cow moved the wrong way? What was your angle? When/where did you move too far, or too fast, or not far or quickly enough?
8. Did you have a strategic plan for the type of cattle for that day as well as your draw in the herd?
9. Were you and your number one mentor/herd holder on the same page before your run?
10. Did you see all of the cattle around you and move strategically, or did you get tunnel vision?
Figure out where things just began to fall apart and then make an adjustment next time. Often you will know what you need to do, but if not, ask your trainer or trusted mentor.
Then, make a plan for your next run to focus on one or two small adjustments. Over time, you will make huge advancements.