Animals want to see what’s pressuring them. / They want to see where you want them to go. / They want to go by you or around you.

Again because these principals are closely related we we discuss them all right here.

Animals want to see what’s pressuring them.

If we return to her natural instinct of wanting to be able to see the things in her environment that could present a possible threat we can understand why she might want to keep us in her field of view. This is why driving a cow from directly behind her (where her vision of the “predator” is most obscured) does not work very well. It is also the explanation of why if you were to accidently startle her she might run for a short distance (flight vs. fight) and then turn to face you (asses the threat).

They want to see where you want them to go.

Knowing that an animal wants to keep us in their field of vision allows us to sometimes place ourselves between the cattle and where we want them to go in order to bring it to their attention with us as we lead them to it. Although it may feel counterintuitive at first, an example of an effective handling technique may be riding up to (or through) a gate. This would use the principals of wanting to following good movement, seeing what is pressuring them and seeing where you want them to go all together.

They want to go by you or around you.

One of the more counterintuitive techniques (which will be discussed later) is the reverse parallel and it is based on this principal. A deeper understanding may come from an in-depth discussion of flight zones vs. pressure zones and the balance point of the animal, however for now knowing that livestock have a tendency to want to move pass us as a basic principal of movement control will help explain why some of the techniques to be discussed later work.