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Training livestock, cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, etc., for basic movement is actually fairly simple. There are a few things to consider keeping you safe and make the training simple for everyone.
First, safety. When working with any livestock it is best to wear closed toes shoes. The larger the animal, the more important your shoes are. When working with larger animals, like cows, you definitely want to invest in leather boots.
Next your biggest training tools. A bucket, some grain for starters, and repetition. Food is a very good motivator for animals. You will have to let them get their head in the bucket at least the first time, or pour the grain out for them, until they figure out the bucket means food. Once they make the connections, you can lead them about anywhere. You can also use a few rocks in a bucket in a pinch once they figure it out. Disclaimer this method works well with small groups. You get large groups of 20+ and it’s not the best method.
You can also train animals to move easily from pasture to pasture. Repetition is key here. The reward, food, is on the next side of the gate. When you move a large herd the same way every time, they quickly figure out what the ques are and often meet you at the gate.
Story time. Before I was at home with my kids, I worked with large herds of cattle, 100 was a small a group typically. Most of the time moving the group to the next pasture across the fence would be done with 1 person. We all moved them the same, with the same pattern, and call. When calves were in the group, we drove through the herd, from the gate, and made sure everyone was up. Hooked up the salt/mineral sled and slowly drove back through the herd calling for them. They quickly followed, knowing new grass was coming. By weaning even, the calves would come to a simple call, because they had been conditioned that new food was coming.
In summary, repetition is key when training animals. Their easy reward is food. Whatever you choose to use as your moving method, do it the same every time and they will quickly be moving without much effort.
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