Posted in: Ranch Life

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Wrangling in the snow, November 2014.

Wrangling, jingling, or gathering; whatever you call it, bringing horses to the corral on horseback is an essential part of our horseback experience.  My husband and I were raised gathering horses in this manner.  I prefer this method today.  I was a cautious child and wrangling made me feel adventurous, The Man From Snowy River-esque, even while riding a shetland pony.  As an adult, I enjoy wrangling horseback less for the adventure and more for the improvements I see in my horses’ behavior.  Like children and dogs, horses benefit from our time.  Their behavior is directly correlated to the amount of time we spend handling them.

If you are unfamiliar with handling your horses from horseback, start with your trustiest steed.  Remember slow is fast, maintaining a relaxed pace will improve the experience for all involved.  If your horse is excitable, it is helpful to take a long trot or wrangle after a full-day’s work.  If your saddle horse is still ginned up by the experience, redirect their attention with serpentine drills or circles in the sage.  Continue redirecting their energy, until you achieve your desired pace.  If you are already familiar with jingling horses, it is an opportunity to loosen up young horses on their first outside rides.  Often, a colt will move more freely under a rider in the company of other horses.

Wrangle, jingle, gather, or muster (if you like Jim Craig) your horses, you may see positive results.  At the very least, you’ll have the opportunity to live out some childhood fantasies.

Posted in: Ranch Life

About Rachel Larsen

Rachel Lohof Larsen is a fifth-generation rancher, mom, wife, cowgirl, and blogger. Originally from Montana, Rachel has a BA in Environmental Science from Colorado College. She and her husband, Guy, bring a sense of integrity and a strong interest in sustainability to all their pursuits....

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