We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Stock Horse?

By Eric Misener
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A stock horse is a specific type of equine mammal that is considered especially suited to working with livestock — cattle in particular. They tend to be characterized by their agility, quickness and intelligence. Most stock horses have a muscular build with powerful hindquarters.

The quintessential example of a stock horse might be the type of horse ridden by the cowboys of the western United States. Other places with large open spaces and a history of cattle husbandry, such as portions of South America and Australia, have also made extensive use of these horses. Like most working animals, a stock horse comes from a long line of ancestors that have been domesticated by humans to perform certain tasks. Arabians, quarter horses, quarabs, mustangs, appaloosa and morabs are common examples of stock horses, although any horse that is used for working with livestock, or any horse that is trained to participate in competitions requiring interaction with livestock, would qualify as a stock horse.

Along with their powerful physical appearance, stock horse breeds are also judged by their cow sense. "Cow sense" is a term used by people who work with stock horses to refer to the horse’s innate ability to interact with and control livestock, especially cattle. Horses with this ability tend to be laid back but observant, and they have an instinctual knack for making cows move in the desired direction. These traits might be the result of selective breeding over many successive generations, but a good stock horse will also be trained to complement its inherited traits. There are various organizations around the world that hold many shows and competitions in which stock horses can be judged.

For competition purposes, it typically takes between 18 months and two years of training for a stock horse to be ready for a competition. Some categories of competition include campdrafting, cutting, reining and team penning. These categories are generally based upon the movements required of a working ranch horse. For example, "cutting" is a term that is derived from the practice of separating a herd of cattle into different groups for different purposes, such as one group to be branded and another to be shipped to market. The cutting horse would enter the larger herd and separate an individual animal from the group so that it could be herded to the group to which it belonged, and in a cutting competition, a stock horse is judged on how well it makes the types of movements that would be required if it was completing such a task on a ranch.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.