This article originally appeared in the summer 2018 Ranch House Journal.
By Chase Chumchal
Ted Howard’s agricultural involvement is deeply implanted in his roots, enriched by work, and polished by passion. Stationed in Oakley, Kansas, Ted began Ted Howard Stockmanship in 2013 with the goal of using good stockmanship to create a positive relationship between horses, cattle, and their owners.
“I love doing what I do and seeing cattle and horses become more confident as well as to watch people make changes to be more fulfilled by their work,” Ted said. “I help people understand that their horses are not a tool, but a partner in achieving their stockmanship goals.”
As a teenager working in a feedyard, Ted always enjoyed handling cattle. In 1980, he began to train and shoe horses, a business that provided him substantial experience with working with horses.
“I understood that proper foot conformation is important to keep our horses sound,” Howard explained. “Shoeing horses allows you to work with many different horses and start to learn their personalities.”
That experience greatly influenced how he handles horses today. Ted analyzes each horse personality and determines specific methods that are needed to easily train that horse.
“No two horses are alike,” Ted said. “There is a different time frame for each horse to develop trust. I use different methods of horse training depending on the needs of the horse.”
In the mid 90s Ted opened Ted’s Boot Repair and Tack Shop. He also owned and managed a 300-head commercial cowherd. According to Ted, this project allowed him to use horsemanship and stockmanship principles in a more unconfined environment.
When handling cattle, Ted believes the best approach is to work directly. Ted and his team help with acclimation, provide skills needed to identify sick cattle, introduce exercise programs, and teach the significance of receiving and shipping cattle properly.
“Low stress cattle handling and improved stockmanship is very important to the future of the beef industry,” Ted said. “Animal welfare and producing healthy beef for our consumers is very important.”
Likewise, when training horses, Howard believes in a direct and comfortable process to receive the most desirable result.
“I take my own horses when I’m within driving distance of my client’s location; however, if I fly to a client, I ride their horses,” Ted explained. “I spend time working with stockmen and women on understanding their horse is their partner in accomplishing their stockmanship goals. A horse’s weakness must be his rider’s strength and a rider’s weakness must be his horse’s strength.”
Through the rising demand for online services, Ted soon discovered the impending need for a website; nevertheless, Howard turned towards Ranch House Designs. Ranch House Designs devised his logo and website.
“The stockmen I was working with were asking if I had a website,” Ted said. “I wanted to reach out to those that may be interested in my services. Ranch House Designs brought a very professional look to my business. They helped me be able to showcase my services through pictures and print.”
Not only is Ted dedicated to his job, but he is committed to his family, as well. Ted’s wife, Darcy and stepson, JD Draper, are very supportive of his business. Ted’s daughter, Dr. Kristy Booker owns and operates the Oakley Veterinary Clinic in Oakley, Kansas, alongside her husband, Jason. Ted has been blessed with two granddaughters, Liberty and Justice Booker.
“I not only believe in the power of trust with horses but also with people,” Ted said. “My family understands this principle of trust and is strengthened due to it.”
To learn more about Ted Howard and the services he provides, visit his website, www.tedhowardstockmanship.com.