Many of the Rodeo events cowboys compete in today originated in common ranch activities. One of those activities continues today throughout the West — sorting cattle for shipping, doctoring, or weaning, and in recent years a competitive version of that sorting skill, known as team penning, has taken the West by storm.
Team penning gives cowboys a chance to demonstrate their skills in working cattle by horse. A team of three riders has to sort three stubborn, herd-bound cattle from a herd and move them into a small pen, a challenge that demands skills both in controlling a horse and in understanding cattle.
One day each week you will have the opportunity to prove that you can learn faster than an old cow! You'll divide into teams for some good-natured cowboy fun to see who can separate out three cows and move them into a pen of their own.
Guests who don't go river rafting in the morning, can join as we gather the cattle from a several hundred acre pasture. We will stop along the way for you to learn a bit more about how to "work cattle." It's great fun and very interesting. You'll then move the herd up past the ranch buildings to the arena. We wait until the river rafters are back after lunch before we start the team penning activities.
Cattle Round Up: Sept. 17-23, 2017
Help a local rancher find, gather, and move hundreds of cattle from the high mountain summer pastures. Long but rewarding days in the saddle. This is for experienced riders only, and we take a limited number of riders.
Our fall cattle roundup is held the 3rd week in September. We help the local cattle ranchers gather their herds, bring them home, and move them from place to place on their home ranches. That time of the year marks the end of the US Forest Service grazing allotments, and it is imperative that the ranchers move their cattle off of the National Forest. Sometimes we move a herd for many miles, other times we are searching for strays and cattle that don’t want to be found. We do stay at Latigo each night and have breakfast and dinner here. We are usually away from the ranch during the day and pack lunches. The days are relatively long but beautiful and enjoyable. We encounter all kinds of weather and riding terrain. We often trailer the horses up into the National Forest or over to a friend’s ranch at the start of a day.
The most difficult part of the week for most riders is the length of time in the saddle. Depending upon our work for any particular day, we will spend between 5 and 10 hours in the saddle that day. We don’t usually ride fast, but we are in some rugged country in all kinds of weather. Since you will be riding independently, it is most important that you recognize your own abilities and the capabilities of your horse. If a rider wants to take a break on a given day, that's not a problem. We do work as teams, but the number of riders on a team and their assignments vary each day.
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