SUE WATKINS HORSEMANSHIP

KIGERS DE LOS CALIFORNIOS

KCA CAVVY

Cavvy: [ kávvee ] (plural cav·vies) A "cavvy" is the Buckaroo term for a ranch outfit's saddle horses. From the Spanish word Caviada. Also called Caballada. The cavvy horses are gathered by a horse wrangler and brought "to the ropes."  This is a rope corral, sometimes temporary, at which the "day horses" are roped.  The jigger boss, second in command to the cow boss, does the roping.  The buckaroo calls out which horse he wants based on the instructions the cow boss has given for the day's work.  The term is used mainly in the Great Basin, northwest of Hwy 50. One tool that was used extensively was what they called "cavvy marks." These were marks made by trimming a section of the mane hair in a certain way to mark the training level of a horse.  The cowboy way was often to travel from outfit to outfit and when the old jigger boss quit, the new one could more easily step into the job if the horses were marked.

To mark the horses, the section, about 6 inches long, of mane hair from the withers forward was "roached" (trimmed as close as possible) using scissors or clippers.  This also keeps the mane hair from bunching under the saddle blanket or pad. If all the mane hair is roached over the withers, the horse is a snaffle bit horse. Two tufts of hair denotes a two-rein horse. One tuft of hair means the horse is a straight-up bridle horse.

Another use for cavvy marks is if the horses get mixed with a herd of wild mustangs, the cavvy marks can be seen from a distance and are a good identifying mark to help separate your saddle horse from the mustang herd. 

Remuda: All saddle horses owned by a ranch or on a roundup that are thrown together and constitute the remount horses for the cowboys. The remuda is in the charge of a cowboy whose duty is to herd and bunch the animals when the cowboys want a fresh mount.  This term is used most often by cowboys in the southwest and Texas.  North of U.S. Highway 50 the Buckaroo term most often used is cavvy or cavvietta.

String: A group of several horses designated for use by an individual cowboy by the cow boss.  Each horse has a different athletic ability, disposition and level of training.  A cowboy chooses his mount for the day according to the work to be done that day:  corral work, big-circle, gather, rope, etc.

            Above information gleaned in part from www.cowboyshowcase.com