Monday, January 13, 2014

A New Performance Idea

One of my favorite things to have seen at the Farm Show this year was the Ox Demo. It was the first time it had ever happened at the Farm Show.
An ox is a castrated bull (I didn't know that), and there were numerous types of cattle showcased. 
The oxen were paired up, with a yoke, and were led by their teamster (handler). This pair loved to strike a pose and were fast moving Jersey Cattle. They had gorgeous coloring, and knew it!
The teamster used verbal signals that reminded me of sled dog signals. Back-back up. Gee-turn right. Get up- go. Haw-turn left. Whoa-Stop. The whip was held at different angles to give the cows commands.
Oxen are visual animals, so more often than not they just followed their teamster around the arena.
These guys were only a little bit older than a year, and this was the first time they had ever pulled something around!
The showcase had numerous obstacles for the pairs to maneuver through.
Then the oldest pair, two Holstein mixes that are three years old, were hitched to a two wheeled ox cart and were led around the arena. 
Some of the horns were covered, so no accidents happened. 
The Jersey pair had on halters, similar to horse ones.
Close up of the yoke.

Most of the oxen were hitched up together to do an Oregon Trail blast from the past. It was the second time the group had ever been hitched together and it took like 5-10 minutes for them to be hitched up together. The announcer gave reasons for oxen being better for the Oregon Trail, than horses. One of the big reasons was that they were less likely to be stolen, and they were more nourishing to eat. Also, oxen were cheaper to buy and could eat the sparse grass that was further along the journey. 
This would be a really cool set up. You'd only need two oxen and a teamster, plus cones or some type of obstacle. I really want some breyer cows and calves now since I only have this guy, who is a bull and who is not getting customized!. :) 

1 comment:

  1. Those are great pictures! Now I might need to get myself some cows! And the first thing I thought when I saw the pictures was Oregon Trail, too.