- Examinations for health purposes
- Keeping their stalls clean/mucking out
- Transporting them by horse trailer
- Shoeing (horses)
- Assisting in foaling with horses (birthing), or calving with cows
- Wranglers sometimes find work in motion pictures and television when horses are needed
- Machinery repair
- You may be driving a pickup truck a fair amount of the time as well.
Shoeing a horse
Wranglers often have dogs to help them herd cattle.
After the Ice Age, horses and their relatives were largely extinct in what is now North America. The Spanish brought horses with them in the 16th century, and the horses thrived and reproduced throughout the country. Spanish 'cowboys' are called Vaqueros. Cattle were largely wild, and the horses were captured and tamed to help herd the cows in groups for ownership by ranchers.
Cowboys were literally once boys: they started helping with horse and cow management at the age of 12 or 13. We have since learned that a grown adult is much better at handling and managing these large and heavy animals.
Did you know that a saddle weighs between 20 and 30 pounds, and a horse from 1,000 to 2,000 pounds?
This is not a job for someone who knows nothing about horses!
Keep in mind also that being a cowboy, cowgirl, wrangler, or ranch hand is physically demanding work that you will do outside 99% of the time (the other 1% may be taken up bandaging blisters and applying ice packs!)
There is a great deal of heavy lifting, with the possibility of back injuries.
You may fall or be thrown off the horse, be kicked by the horse, or bitten by the horse, as well as sprains and pulled muscles: you are trying to manage an animal that weighs close to a ton.
When you are not on a horse you will be on your feet.
You will not get days off because the weather is bad, and animals need maintenance 24/7, 365 days a year.
You will be dirty most of the time, and tired as well.
You will probably find that other people working at the same ranch aren't terribly social: They prefer the horses' company to humans. If you are also like that, you'll fit right in.
Another way to become involved with horses or other farm/ranch animals is to become a veterinarian or vet tech specializing in equines or farm animals.
If you want to own a ranch instead of only working on one, what skills would you need?
- Business set-up skills
- Goal Setting
- Marketing--how do you let people know about your business?
- Accounting--managing your money
- Managing your supplies
- Managing your animals
- Managing your employees
- Meeting any government requirements
- Maintaining your land and equipment
- Relationships with other businesses and the local Chamber of Commerce
- Will you want a website for your ranch? Who will design and maintain it?
Here's a man who has learned the power of massage for horses: http://www.cowboyshowcase.com/rex-blackwell.html#.U3upPK4o6mQ
And a YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK1Z8NL0Bn0
Ready to saddle up?