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I have a couple of friends that are HDS Drivers and all of them prefer ranching on ATV`s. I prefer horseback riding because it reminds me of times when I went out with my granddad and he showed me a lot of interesting things about farming.
I hate being in a pasture rounding up cattle with some using 4-wheelers. Not only do they generate havoc for the cattle, but I have been on horses that got spooked too.
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I agree that ATV's have a place on a ranch! We love ours and use it daily! However, we do not use it to work livestock. To us, nothing beats a good horse.
We do have friends that use ATV's to work livestock and to them they are the greatest thing since ice cream. Guess thats why they make chocolate, van, and strawberry!
I've used both. There's a place for an ATV on the ranch or farm, and definitely a place for horses. Before ATVs came pickups, and before pickups were wagons. The ATV can't replace the horse, just as the horse can't replace the pickup.
ATV's can most def help if ya have a a lot of ground to cover, and ya need to fast. But nothin' beats ridin' yur horse! And a horse can be a friend too. A piece of machinery can't! So I of course will choose the horse! :)
Cowboys & Cowgirls, A Rope & A Buck, Give Him A Kiss & Wish Him Luck!
I'll be honest...an ATV does have a lot of uses for ranching. Working cows shouldn't be one of them though. They stir up the cattle too much, can't go as many places as a horse, you can't rope off of them, and they can't maneuver as well as a horse. To me their only advantage is speed, and speed isn't as important as getting the job done right.
And to be fair, an ATV does have a couple advantages over a horse such as you don't have to feed it when you're not using it, it doesn't get out of shape if it's been sitting, and they can go pretty fast to get somewhere, but that doesn't outweigh the disadvantages of them for me. I'd rather take a little more time to get the job done and know that it was done right than to try and hurry through it and screw something up. Not only that I've seen cows go through fences from being too riled up from a 4 wheeler. That's just creating more work for me.
its better to ranch on horseback not on four wheelers. it is too noisy to ranch with four wheelers i think horses are better. i love horses.
When I was a ranch hand, way back in the dark ages, I would not have thought of not working cows on horse back. The last ranch I worked on was a little over 10,000 acres. We could work on horse and get the job done, though I must admit a lot of time was wasted riding back and forth from the HQ out to where the cattle were. We worked about 1500 head of cattle, but we had 4 to 10 hands.
However, as in the case of my son-in-law, if you have to travel a lot of miles in a day, a horse is just too slow. They work thousands of acres, work thousands of head of cattle, and use maybe half-a-dozen hands. Besodes, those ATV's don;t eat through the winter.
I am the first to say I love the old ways. But, in today;s ranching business (and it is a business) bottom line is what counts. If a rancher can get the job done with less hands, and less expense, then that is what they are going to do and to hell wiht tradition. Tradition don't pay the bills.
When I was a kid my family made me do all of the herding on foot. They would drop me off at a certain point in the truck and then tell me to keep that cows moving in the right direction and fall in behind them running along.
Eventually I moved on to using an ATV. The biggest draw back there is that if you have to go through some thick brush/trees to turn a few head back, you have to leave the four wheeler and then once you've got the cows back you run back to where the wheeler is parked to retreive it. It's exhausting and a waste.
I've moved to horseback because it feels more comfortable. It's easier to stay at an easy pace and keep the herd going straight. And if you havej to get off the horse it can follow you along.
Most of our herding is done in the mountains so the ATV accessible areas are limited. Therefore I say horseback, but in an area that's not so rough an ATV would probably do great.
I don't "cowboy" anymore. Too darn old.
But, I go over to where my daughter and son in law work, on a big spread in central South Dakota and watch them. As much as I love horses, they just take way too much time. Back in the day when an outfit had a lot of riders, then maybe it would have still worked out there, but today, with only a few, ATV's are the only way to get the work done in a timely manner. Their ranches are just too spread out. They can load an ATV into the back of a pick-up, get to the place they are needed, unload, and get the cattle moved much faster than with a horse. It just makes sense.
I would love to see everything in this world slow down, but we know that is not going to happen.
I would say horseback to stay true to our cowboy roots, but a good 4 wheel drive ATV as a lot of good uses.
The only maintenance an ATV really needs is oil and gas and they have a ton of uses around a ranch, for me when it snows it's great to be able to hookup the plow, in the summer cart stuff around etc.
Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.I agree that ATV's have a place on a ranch! We love ours and use it daily! However, we do not use it to work livestock.Thanks for given this article which is so interesting
There are pro's and con's with using 4 wheelers and horses. However the pro.'s far out weigh the con's when using horses.
Horses are better suited for round ups, 4 wheelers tend to spook cattle and cause them to go wild. I hate being in a pasture rounding up cattle with some using 4-wheelers. Not only do they generate havoc for the cattle, but I have been on horses that got spooked too.
4 wheelers aren't as as manuverable as a good horse, and can't get around in some terrain like a good horse. A horse is more environmentally friendly too. lol. I could go on and on about why I hate 4 wheelers on the job. The only good thing about a 4 wheeler is they are great for rounding up sheep. Certainly not cattle.
I would not tell anybody to round-up cattle with anything but a horse. But for some Jobs like fixin the fence you can have all the tools with you as you go down the line.
4 wheeler is good for spraying soda apples and other unwanted vegetation out in the pasture, or for spraying chemicals to kill unwanted vines and to keep fence lines cleared. Nevertheless; I for one can get by without one. I use a gator or pick up to haul tools when constructing or mending fences, irrigation work and so forth.
4 wheelers make great recreational vehicles. They are fun. I just don't have much use for them on the job. I prefer staying in the saddle, no matter how much work it is, or how sore it gets. lol
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