Now here’s a video with some kick to it. This trusty horse is the cattle rancher’s best friend. This is really an amazing video. The loyalty and training of stallion Red is pretty impressive.
It looks like a glorious day on the ranch, with a blue sky overhead and dry grass as far as the eye can see. Certainly the cattle and the horses live a good life on the homestead.
As ranch managers Scott Warren and Jose Ibarra of Clinton, North Carolina rope calves in order to tag their ears, the mama cows aren’t going to let them get away with it without their supervision. The heifers could really make the ranchers’ work impossible, if it wasn’t for Red the stallion standing between the mother cow and the men. If the cow gets a little bit too close, Red kicks out her back hooves to fend it off. She’s really good at it, too.
Red isn’t just reacting in blind nervousness, either. She seems to be very well practiced. If you never knew a horse could be trained to actively protect its rider—not just by running away, but by actually fighting back, you’re not alone. This is the kind of skill we usually think of training a dog for. As you can see, no dogs are needed for this job.
Horses and cows get along fairly well together in the same habitat, and this is no exception. The horse isn’t being war-like or super aggressive. It’s defending its rider with the minimal amount of effort needed. The horse delivers what are mostly warning kicks, never actually making contact with the poor mother cow, who seems only to want to know for sure her baby’s alright. Of course she does, she’s reacting the way any sensible mother would when a man pins her baby to the ground, ties its legs with a rope, and stables a tag into its ear. You can’t really blame her for wanting a closer look.
You have to hand it to the extraordinary teamwork here between ranch hand and horse. They are all business. As the cow tries to find a hole in the scrimmage line, Red maneuvers herself by re-positioning her hind end toward the cow. Red trains her eye on the ranch hand, and using her peripheral vision knows exactly what the cow behind her is doing. Good old horse, Red! Maybe we’ve got something special for you when we get back to the stable.