Working Ranch Blog

Brett Haas
Natural Stockmanship DVD Review by Brett Haas
Jul. 4 2013, 10:55 PM

 Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.  Proverbs 19:20

A few years ago I discovered that Bud Williams had a stockmanship school in
Independence, KSIndependence is a couple hours away from me.  I had always thought Bud taught out of Texas.  At the time I didn't have the funds to attend and just thought that maybe someday I would go.

In November of 2012, Bud passed away as did my opportunity to learn from a master of stockmanship.  Fortunately, like all wise men do, Bud passed his knowledge onto the next generation through students attending his clinics.  Aron Hansen was one of those students.

Upon perusing Facebook one evening, I stumbled upon a video.  It was of a young buckaroo a horseback loading a prolapsed cow onto a trailer.  No, it wasn't out of a load out in a corral, but in the middle of a section of pasture in Nevada

I have tried this in the past myself, but only succeeding at it about 2 out of ten tries.  That, and the cow was walking and looked much more willing and relaxed than when I tried.  I made a comment to the hand doing the loading, Levi, and found out that he had been coached by Aron.  Aron said that it only took him about four trips to the trailer and that was because it was Levi's first time.  That and there was a young colt going nuts tied to the trailer that didn't help.

Levi also said that after Aron coached on him, he had loaded cattle four other times, all successful.  I talked with Aron after watching the video and this is how he explained it.  "1. Get good movement (calm, positive, straight)(not necessarily slow) 2. Be able to guide that movement (speed, direction, intensity) 3. They have to be able to take the right amount of pressure. That is why with this animal this was the fourth trip to the trailer. It took 15 minutes or so to teach her to take the amount of pressure needed. If this is taught before someone goes to the trailer then it only takes one trip to the trailer."

Now I had to have the dvd.

A few weeks later it came in the mail and after watching it  I feel like my stockmanship skills have gone plaid.  Well, maybe I've got a ways to go yet, but it has already benefited me.  I've had a few opportunities to try some methods out and have experienced good results.

I think the dvd has helped me most with moving cattle into a tub.  It always seemed hard to me in the past, but we worked some heifers the other day and I got some video.  Keep in mind, this is my first time trying these methods having only watched the video one time.  Normally, I would have gotten my rattle paddle or flag and a couple other folks to help to get these young heifers moving through this tub.  That, and much yelling is usually required.  Something no one wants to listen to.

The dvd is broken into three parts:  Basics, Corral Work, and Advanced.

Disc 1:  The Basics, well, deals with the basics such as flight zone, circle of influence, and how to start, stop, and direct movement in cattle.

Disc 2: Corral work uses real world working situation video of corral work and expands on the basic principles disc one.  These principles are demonstrated using a tub and or a bud box.  Trailer loading up a load out chute is also covered as well.  Improving existing corral design and starting from scratch are discussed to.

Disc 3:  Advanced covers areas such as settling weaned calves to maintain health and weight, and to begin to gain weight sooner on feed.  Moving large herds over long distances with one or two hands is also demonstrated.

At $110, some might balk at the price of an instructional dvd.  Especially those living on a cowboy salary.  However, my brief overview of the topics discussed only begin to scratch the surface of the 4 1/2 hours of demonstrations covered over three discs.  In my opinion, the best part of the dvd, is that it is simply a film of the exact class that Aron teaches.  As much as I would love to travel west to meet him and learn in person, that would cost much more.  Plus the fact that I can pause this class and take it in doses as my hectic schedule has allowed.  I don't know about you, but finding time to sit for 4 plus hours straight is hard to come by, not to mention trying to remember all that info can be a horrendous task.  Yes sir, having my own personal stockmanship class at the click of a remote is perty handy.


"Natural Stockmanship" can be ordered on Aron's website, www.natural  He can also be contacted via e-mail at, or on facebook here.


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