Rerun cattle or groups of wild or strongly herd-bound cattle are always a challenge because they know the “game.” They know where they came into the arena. They know where their buddies are standing when they get separated from the herd, and they intend to get back to the herd.  

Here are five tips to help you navigate tough cattle: 

1. Ask your trainer and helpers to help you understand what to do in the specific herd of cattle you are about to enter. Every situation is always different. Get a plan ahead of time. Ideally, the best time to do this is before your class begins, when you can talk with them in a relaxed way. 

2. Make sure you know where you will enter the cattle. Often the strategy is to walk to the back fence and bring out a large group of cattle and then walk aggressively to the middle of the arena with your herd holders… and then let cattle peel off and cut what wants to be cut. I think that is an excellent strategy.

An additional idea is to ride straight down the middle of the cattle from the front instead of approaching them from the back fence. In some groups of cattle, this can serve to “loosen them up” and get them walking out to the middle of the arena less packed together. 

4. As you walk out with your cattle, talk to yourself. Tell yourself which cow will truly be the last cow or the quietest cow to cut. Often in those last moments, nerves take over, and the cutter darts away with a cow that moves to make sure they “gets a cow.” Look to the end of the flow and the cattle on the far outside. These are the most likely candidates to cut. 

5. Talk to yourself. Make sure you keep reminding yourself to breathe and keep your eyes up.


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