Team Penning

A Fundamental Guide

Terry von Gease

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ISBN: 1-57733-070-6, 68 pages,  6 x 9, paper, $10.00

The interesting thing about Team Penning is that losing is pretty much like winning, except it takes longer and you don't get any money. On the other hand, people who say winning isn't everything probably have never won anything.

An entertaining and essential guide to Team Penning, explaining some of the fundamental philosophies and how to put them to work. This is a somewhat different approach than traditional guides which merely present a definition of what Team Penning is, and perhaps a cookbook of recipes for dealing with specific imaginary situations.

This little book explores the central principles of Team Penning and provides both novice and experienced penners with food for thought, perhaps even provokes thought, as well as provides practical advice.

Table of Contents

Team Penning, What It Is
A Few Words About Horses
Some Basic Principles
Before You Go
When You Go
The Classic Starting Strategy
Finding the Target Cattle
Getting the Cattle Out of the Herd
Getting the Cattle Down the Arena
Getting the Cattle into the Pen
When Everything Goes Wrong


This book is an exercise in brevity. I have long thought that virtually any notion, including the various aspects of quantum physics as well as the meaning of life, should be able to be summed up in a couple or three paragraphs. The world is littered with massive volumes where the author had but a single thought and managed to drone on about it for hundreds of boring pages. You see them, clogged with dust, lining the bookshelves of those people who seem to spend their days questing after magic beans.

There are few, if any, magic beans and none that anyone has ever discovered that have anything to do with team penning. This doesn't seem to stop people from looking. There is neither a special formula, nor any sort of paint by numbers approach to team penning. You will be best served by learning the fundamental principles and, just as importantly, learning just when to put them to work.

Don't confuse brevity with poverty of content. In these pages I have made every attempt to make my point and then get on with it. I have tried to err on the side of conciseness rather than babbling on endlessly. If the result fails to be a multi-hundred-page cure for insomnia, the world will probably be better off for it. If this is the sort of thing that disturbs you, you'll probably be disturbed.

As Zorro told his young apprentice "Get in, make your Z, and get out." Words to live by whether fighting the forces of evil or penning cattle.

Symposium Press (an imprint of Blue Dolphin Publishing), 1999

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