What is it like to be a Pen Rider?

If anyone is or has been one, whats the day to day like? Is it a job you enjoy? What's your favorite part? Sorry, this is a weird category for this question, but no idea where to stick it? Thanks for the advice! I was offered a job on a feedlot and was just wondering if anyone had a take on it. I have been ranching and working as a farmhand for seven years, and I think my cutting horses would enjoy it, but I'm worried I'll miss the busy ranch mornings and hay season. They are my favorite.

Sandra S.

You could put your question under Business & Finance then look for Other Careers & Employment under the sub category area. I can move it for you if you wish. I have Stable Hands, Stable Hands work strictly with horses. Pen Riders who I call Cowboys have similar roles. It's a tough mans job, and not for the weak..Where as Stable Hands works strictly for the horses, Cowboys and/or Pen Riders do a lot more, they are animal herders who tends cattle on ranches, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related. The do a lot of physical labor under the supervision of farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers.


Never done it. Best advice? Go and hang around a cattle outfit where they use horses, and see how they manage things. You'll have to be tough. You and your horse must both be cow-smart. My wife says she once knew a horse that could detect ill cattle and cut them out of the herd by herself, with no rider. I'll bet that the ability to rope successfully would be helpful, including being able to figure out how to rope and drag a steer that had gotten himself cast in a mud-hole under a fence. I did that yesterday for a sheep. No horse, just me, and a rope tied with a bowline knot for a brisket hitch.