Teaching to lead?

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Brandi*

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Not sure if this is the right place to post this

I am wanting to teach Reggie (my 4month old jersey cow) to lead. I just went out and put the halter on him. He fought a little but he did really good. I did lock him, Buddy and Peatrie in the small paddock for the night so that he won't get his head tangled up on anything. I figured it would be good for him to get used to it over night.

Since he is a pet and I plan to keep him for as long as I can, I thought that it would be nice if we could do things in a civilized manor when it comes to seeing the vet, de-worming and vaccinations. Plus since I have no idea when I will be getting another horse, I think it will be fun to still have a project to be working on


I have never taught a horse (or cow) to lead so I was hoping you guys could give me some pointers on how to start. The few times I have worked with babies who did not know how to lead I would just take a step and try to encourage them to take a step, then praise. Melody led very well when she came here so I never really had to "train" her for it. We just "polished" what she already had learned
.

Any advice on teaching to lead would be greatly appreciated


Thanks so much
 
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eagles ring farm

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I don't know the first thing about teaching a cow to lead but with our foals we usually

just start by taking them for a walk with mom and using a crop but for a little tap when needed

then switch to with another foal or alone which ever is convienent

They usually enjoy the time out and don't worry about mom much at all but we keep it short when first leaving mom behind.

Good luck but I don't know how similer the training would be
 

Brandi*

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Yes I was also wondering how different the training process would be between the two. I do know that getting that halter on Reggie by myself was very easy compared to the difficulty I would have had getting it on a 4 month old colt
I would think the concept would be the same but maybe a different approach?
 

ErikaS.

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I used a butt- rope in training my guys. One rope on the halter to lead, one around the haunches and held over the back. Took two hands, but it helped get the idea across quickly. Slight pull on the lead, a little pull on the butt-rope as a come-along.
 

Marty

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I think this is where you get a guy with a sombrero to stand 20 feet in front of the cow and wave a red flag back and forth and go Toro, Toro.............and then it goes real good
 

Brandi*

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Haha Marty! Yes well I would like to get it to were I don't need a guy in a sombrero or cowboy hat to handle him lol
Thanks for that great advice
 
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Reignmaker Miniatures

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If your calf is small pull him sideways and then when he takes a step praise (or treat which is a much safer option with a cow than a horse) I have always used the pull step oats pull step oats menthod to give them the idea if they were very young then once they will step sideways try for one forward (if you don't get it at first hold the oats out in front and as soon as he steps forward give him the treat and release the pressure) If he is unusually stubborn get a side step and treat. Eventually get 2 and then 3 forward steps before treating and eventually work up to leading him to a treat left elsewhere. Good luck.
 

cretahillsgal

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I grew up showing cattle and always had several new ones each year to train.

So what we would do is ..... tie them up. Tie him fairly snug and make sure that you tie him above his back and that his head is up. Cattle are not like horses and should not be tied at head level unless they are really well broke to stand tied. If you do, he will inevitably flip onto his back if he fights the halter much. Once he learns that he has to "respect" the lead he will be easy to teach to lead. And like the previous poster mentioned it is much easier to teach a calf by making them go to the side. I have never seen a calf that I could teach to lead by pulling him forward first.


Here is what I mean when I say tie their head up.

 

Brandi*

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When you guys say get him to go sideways first, do you mean for me to press on his hip or shoulder to get him to take a step our two away from it? I just wanted to clarify so that I get this straight


Cretahillsgal,

Did you find that the cows were very stubborn? Any other tips you have would be greatly appreciated. It sounds like you have some experience working with cows
 

Indian*R*A*I*N*Dance

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Im in 4H and everyyear we get jersey heifers, the same age as Reggie who have no experience leading and are afraid of people.

I agree with cretahillsgal about tieing (sp) them up. When i have trained them to lead they were afraid of people so you had to corner them and then we distracted her with the mini perfect who the heifers found very interesting. : p I would put the lead on and just walk, they didn't seem to mind. You can also use some grain, put it in your hand and put your hand infront of him so he has to walk to get the grain. Also praise him when he does walk on the lead correctly either with grain or a scratch under the chin. I've noticed that after taking them out everyday they got the hang of it, there fast learners.
 

Brandi*

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Well I just went out and tied Reggie up for about 5 minutes. He didn't really fight. He just leaned away from the rope so he was in an uncomfortable position. I brushed him and rubbed him down ( I felt weird brushing a cow lol
) Then when we were done with that we walked around the paddock a bit. He spent most of his time trying to get away from me but I was right beside him the whole time
I do remember when I was attending Meredith Manor Equestrian Center that this was a good technique for getting a young horse used to walking with you. If you just follow them at first they get used to the idea and then you slowly work it into being your idea where you go


Thanks again for all your advice.
 

Magic

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I do remember when I was attending Meredith Manor Equestrian Center that this was a good technique for getting a young horse used to walking with you. If you just follow them at first they get used to the idea and then you slowly work it into being your idea where you go


This is what I do with my foals too. They also learn to give to pressure, I pull lightly on the halter to the side and when they give their head, I release, then work up to having them move a step (to the side, it's much harder for them to brace against it than to the front) and then two steps, and so on. It SOUNDS tedious but it really goes very quickly. With that and the following them around while they are on a lead, they learn to lead very well in a short amount of time. Good luck and have fun with Reggie!
 

Brandi*

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Thanks Magic. Hopefully he will catch on quickly
 
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cretahillsgal

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Sorry it took me so long to get back here and answer your question.

About the leading them sideways. Don't push on the calf with any part of your body. Instead you either walk around the front of the calf and then pull him to his right or just pull his head toward you and get him to turn left. Sometimes I would just lead my calves in circles at first until they learned that if they just followed me they would not have the pressure behind their ears. And yes I have never found a calf that was not stubborn.
And they also have very strong necks which makes them harder to lead than the horses in my opinion.

Another thing is that you might try tying him to a bicycle inertube. Just wrap the tube around a post and then tie your lead to it like normal. This causes a "pull back" whenever the calf pulls against the lead.

And you are doing right by tying him up and then brushing. Also rinsing him with water (you don't have to soap him up) will gentle him. Though he sounds like a really gentle calf already. Just stubborn.

Don't worry. Out of all the calves that I have had, I only had one that was so stubborn we never could get him to lead. He would plant his front feet and not budge. And when we tried to turn him to the side, he would just flop over on his side and stay that way until you took the halter off! At the time it was very frusterating as we had paid $3000 for a show calf that wouldn't show!!


Hope this helps! Feel free to ask other questions!
 

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