Knowing Horses and Livestock: Ted Howard Stockmanship Seminar Comes to Wall, SD |

Knowing Horses and Livestock: Ted Howard Stockmanship Seminar Comes to Wall, SD

Ted Howard has earned his notable reputation in the stockmanship world from a lifetime in the ag industry. Growing up around livestock and horses, he’s dabbled in a bit of everything.

“I trained race horses, and have been around the horse world, went from there to team roping when I got to my teens,” said Howard, a Norton, Kansas native.

“I made a living training horses for several years, then worked at a feedlot in Oakley, Kansas for 12 years. I left there in 1980, and went out on my own, training horses for several years. I’ve always shoed horses, since I was big enough to do it. I ended up shoeing horses for 15 years after I was done training them, then I owned a saddle shop for 20 years, and then I got back into the feedlot business.”

Howard now calls Oakley, Kansas home. Well, at least his home base for between his many travels. Most of his days are filled with travels to and from stockmanship clinics across the United States.

“I started consulting ten years ago and now I’m hardly ever home,” Howard said with a laugh.

Ted Howard believes horsemanship is a foundation to stockmanship.

His consulting work emerged from working with Production Animal Consulting (PAC) Animal Stewardship division, where he traveled to feedlots to help with the horsemanship aspect of the consulting process. Since then, he has worked with vets and feedlots across the United States and Australia.

“I got started on this and really, really enjoyed it,” said Howard. “I’ve been to Australia twice. I did a three day horsemanship clinic the first time I went over there and I rode 42 different horses in three days to prove the fact that every horse thinks the same. That was really good.”

Howard’s stockmanship clinics focus on horsemanship and reading cattle. He says that the two things are dependent on each other, and his goal is to help people become better horsemen and to become better at understanding how to read cattle.

“My work is based off, probably number one is horsemanship,” Howard explained. “When we understand our horse and can make them work better, it makes our cattle better. But my whole goal is to start out with horsemanship because it just makes that job so much easier for the cattle to understand what we’re trying to do with them.”

Stockmen have an arsenal of tools at their disposal, but Howard doesn’t believe that a person’s horse should fall into that category.

“One of my biggest deals is that I want everybody to think of their horse as a partner, not a tool,” said Howard. “That’s that’s probably the biggest thing I want people to learn, that and how to read cattle.”

Ted Howard. Courtesy photo

Howard’s seminars are focused on sharing a wealth of information, but not so much that the attendees are overwhelmed. A few hours with Howard is enough to leave attendees with plenty of food for thought.

“I want everybody to walk away thinking that there is one thing they really want to figure that out. One thing that they can really incorporate in their lives,” Howard said.

Howard stresses the importance of understanding your horse, first and foremost. Being able to read your horse and understand their strengths and weaknesses is crucial to both of your success.

“The horse that does not fit the feedlot or the ranch world just makes our job so hard, and it’s really, really hard on cattle,” Howard explained. “We’ve got all kinds of horses in this world, and everybody needs to understand what they work best at.”

When asked what advice he would give people that are just starting out in the cattle or horse industries, he had a few sage pieces of advice.

“I always try to leave this with people or start with this: the very first thing, whether it’s a feedlot or you’re in a ranch deal, or any kind of performance deal in a horse world, always surround yourself around people better than you. If we don’t ever do that we never progress to get better,” said Howard.

After a couple of decades in the industry, Howard has truly figured out the secret to success.

“Working and dealing with horses and dealing with cattle is really pretty simple. It’s the ability to work with all kinds of people that’s the biggest challenge,” Howard laughs.

The South Dakota Farm Bureau is hosting a summer event series, with the next event being held on August 8th, featuring Ted Howard. The event will take place at the Rodeo Grounds in Wall, SD. The seminar is limited to 40 people, so please RSVP to or call/text 605-770-8581.

For more information on Ted Howard Stockmanship, you can visit his website at

Tressa Lawrence is a corresponding writer for the Tri-State Livestock News. Send comments on this article to

Ted Howard says producers will improve their stockmanship by surrounding themselves with those who are better than they are. Courtesy photo

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