Working A Corner

Posted in: Featured, Horse Training, Ranch Life

Do you know how to work a corner? No, not THAT kind of a corner! I mean a fence corner. With cattle. And roping.

Working a corner (either kind) requires a certain amount of finesse and skill, but this post addresses how to rope calves out of the corner of a corral or branding trap. Once all the calves have been roped off the front of the herd at the beginning of the branding, the rest of them often start balling up in the corners of the trap. You can move them out of the corner either by staying on the outside of the herd and putting some pressure on them from that side, or you can ride to the back of the herd and scoop them off the back fence.

Here, Jim Young rides a Spanish Ranch cavvy horse to brand some fall calves near headquarters. He rode to the back of the herd, turned the bunch of calves along the fence, identified the slick calf, and began to work him out of the herd so he could get a clear shot.


Once the calf was in a good position, he roped it.


After he caught the calf, he let some rope slide so he wouldn’t injure the animal with too abrupt of a stop. The calf ended up on the other side of his horse pretty far down his rope, which is when Jim got short. To read about how to “get short” when roping, click here.


When working cattle out of a corner to rope, it’s important to remember to move slowly until the calf you want breaks, then kick your horse and keep up with it. You have to identify an animal to rope and stay with it; don’t just rope the one in the back, because he might already be branded. Just move in smoothly, scoop the cattle off the fence, and open your hand.

Happy roping!


Posted in: Featured, Horse Training, Ranch Life

About Jolyn Young

Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit

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