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Paint Horse, Gelding, 5 years, 14.3 hh, Chestnut-Red Cowhorse - Western
IT-43121
Parma
€6,500
~ £5,433 Negotiable
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American Quarter Horse, Gelding, 8 years, 14.3 hh, Roan-Red Cowhorse
Mediatore
IT-15067
Novi ligure
$11,000
~ £8,056
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Paint Horse, Mare, 2 years, 14.2 hh, Tobiano-all-colors
F: MHA Freckle Tari
Cowhorse - Western allround - Reining - Breeding
DE-74744
Ahorn
€5,000 to €10,000
price range ~£4,179 to £8,359
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Platinum
including video
Paint Horse, Gelding, 5 years, 14.3 hh, Chestnut-Red Cowhorse - Western
IT-43121
Parma
€6,500
~ £5,433 Negotiable
Add to wish list
Golden
Paint Horse, Mare, 2 years, 14.2 hh, Tobiano-all-colors
F: MHA Freckle Tari
Cowhorse - Western allround - Reining - Breeding
DE-74744
Ahorn
€5,000 to €10,000
price range ~£4,179 to £8,359
Add to wish list
Platinum
American Quarter Horse, Gelding, 8 years, 14.3 hh, Roan-Red Cowhorse
Mediatore
IT-15067
Novi ligure
$11,000
~ £8,056
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Basic advertisements
Arabian Berber, Gelding, 6 years, 5.3 hh, Bay Cowhorse - Eventing - Jumping - Hunter
GB-EH12 9GN
Edinburgh
£1,950
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American Quarter Horse, Stallion, 1 year, Sorrel
F: OT TARIS DUN IT | MF: DOC BOOMERNIC
Cowhorse - Cutting - Reining
CH-4856
Glashüttten
€9,500
~ £7,941 Negotiable
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American Quarter Horse, Mare, 15 years, 14.2 hh, Brown Cowhorse - Reining
IT-36100
Vicenza
€5,500
~ £4,598
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Shetland Ponies Mix, Mare, 4 years, Brown Cowhorse - English Pleasure - Cutting - Breeding
NO-Norway
Kongsvinger
$7,500
~ £5,493 Negotiable
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Paint Horse, Gelding, 2 years, Chestnut Cowhorse
US-74562
Rattan Oklahoma
$2,500
~ £1,831 Negotiable
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Paint Horse Mix, Mare, 3 years, 14.2 hh, Chestnut-Red Cowhorse - Western allround - Western - Leisure
FR-60300
Borest
€3,800
~ £3,176
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American Quarter Horse, Stallion, 6 years, 13.3 hh, Bay-Dark
F: BAM BAM NIC | MF: KAM JUMPY SOLANO
Cowhorse
HU-8640
Fonyód
€13,500
~ £11,285 Negotiable
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American Quarter Horse, Gelding, 2 years, 13.3 hh, Black
F: MJK GLO N INVITATION | MF: VF ESTRELLA DOC
Cowhorse
HU-8640
Fonyód
€9,500
~ £7,941
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Paint Horse, Stallion, 2 years, 15.2 hh, Roan-Bay
F: WYOS RINGO HANCOCK | MF: IM IDEAL
Cowhorse - Show - Breeding - Western
DE-50003
Hradec Kralove
€6,500
~ £5,433
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Paint Horse, Stallion, 2 years, Red Dun
F: IMA SPECIAL GUY | MF: CLEVER LEE
Cowhorse - Western allround - Versatility Ranch Horse - Western
US-76401
Stephenville
$6,000
~ £4,394
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Welsh PB (Partbred) Mix, Stallion, 3 years, 14.2 hh, Brown Falb mold
F: QUÉBIR DU PARAVOUR
Cowhorse - Trail - Leisure - Mating
FR-34130
Saint Aunès
€6,800
~ £5,684 Negotiable
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American Quarter Horse, Gelding, 8 years, 15 hh, Sorrel Cowhorse - Trail - Western Pleasure - Western
US-32817
Orlando
$3,500
~ £2,563
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American Quarter Horse, Stallion, 1 year, 14.2 hh, Chestnut-Red
F: SUPER LITTLE CHIC | MF: SPOOK N TARI
Cowhorse - Versatility Ranch Horse - Reining - Western
DE-82433
Bad Kohlgrub
€5,000 to €10,000
price range ~£4,179 to £8,359
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American Quarter Horse, Gelding, 11 years, 15.2 hh, Roan-Blue Cowhorse - Trail - Western Pleasure - Western
US-80212
Denver
$3,410
~ £2,497
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American Quarter Horse, Gelding, 11 years, 15.2 hh, Bay Cowhorse - Western allround - Trail - Western Pleasure
US-90059
Los Angeles
$3,100
~ £2,270
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American Quarter Horse, Gelding, 10 years, 15 hh, Bay Cowhorse - English Pleasure - Trail - Western Pleasure
US-85034
Phoenix
$3,200
~ £2,344
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American Quarter Horse, Gelding, 11 years, Buckskin Cowhorse - Western allround - Trail - Western
US-72211
Little Rock
$3,400
~ £2,490
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Cowhorses for sale on ehorses

The working cow horse category is one of the most interesting of the Western riding disciplines, since it tests both the practical skills of horse and rider, as well as their ability to ride a show performance of a high standard. This is also known as the reined cow horse class, and competitors can be judged in three areas: The performance of a precise reining pattern, herd work, and individual cow work. The competition originated in the traditions of Californian cattle management, which was greatly influenced by Spanish (Vaquero) equestrian culture. Working cow horse events are a showcase for genuine cowboy heritage. They prove that properly performed, Western riding and cattle work require grace, intelligence and skill, and the horses are elite performers.

Characteristics of the Working Cow Horse

It takes time and commitment to produce a working cow horse. The original Spanish tradition was a horsemanship programme that took years to complete. During the training, the young horse advanced from working in the bitless bridle, known as a bosal, to responding to the lightest of touches on the reins while wearing a spade bit. The horses the vaqueros worked with were bred for the job, often over many generations, meaning they developed the innate “cow sense” that is still vital for competition work today. They were compact and intelligent horses, capable of turning on a coin and shifting between the different gaits instantly and effortlessly. Short strong cannon bones, pasterns that were not too long, and muscular but not too heavy quarters were – and still are – required in working cow horses.

Working Cow Horses: The Best Breeds for this Discipline

Cow sense and agility count more than breed in the working cow horse competition, but certain breeds are far more likely to succeed, as they have been developed for this work. These include the American Quarter Horse , the Appaloosa , and the American Paint Horse . Spanish, Portuguese and other Baroque breeds are highly successful, too. The Iberian breeds, such as the PRE , the Andalusian and the Lusitano , have been working cow horses for centuries, and although breeds such as the Italian Murgese are less well-known, they are also part of European “cowboy” traditions. South American breeds, such as the Criollo , are also specialist cow horses. Working cow horses participate in popular events at some Arabian horse shows.

Working Cow Horses in Equestrianism

In the days when horses were a vital part of cattle management in the USA, it took seven or more years to create a “finished” cow horse. Horses became so responsive as a result of this training that they were said to react to a whisper or a "hair-trigger"; in other words, they could feel and react to the equivalent of the weight of a single hair on the reins. While not literally true, this is a very good analogy for the speed of the response that the horse developed when it felt the lightest touch from the rider’s single hand on the reins. As technological changes reduced the need for horses for this work, enthusiasts decided to keep the traditions alive by creating events dedicated to reined cow horses. In modern competitions, horse and rider participate in two sessions, the first one being the “dry work”, which involves performing a set reining pattern. The second session is the cow work and there are two parts to this. First of all, a single cow is sent into the arena and the horse must hold the cow – prevent it from moving – at one end. This is called “boxing the cow”. Then the horse and rider run the cow along the rail of the arena and turn it back, but without the aid of the fence. This part is known as “fencing”. Then the horse will bring the cow into the centre of the ring, making it circle tightly both clockwise and anticlockwise (“circling the cow”). Some competitions also include herd work, which involves cutting a single cow from a herd and preventing its return to the others. From this, it can be seen that a working cow horse demands a high level of commitment to succeed. It’s certainly challenging, but also very rewarding!

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