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Fundamentals of Pen Riding Online Training

Set your team up for success with the new Fundamentals of Pen Riding course, available for free on Feedlot TECH.

Do you want to make a real difference in the health and wellbeing of cattle at your feedlot? Pen riding is a critical skill that ensures the best outcomes for animals in your care.

Whether you’re new to pen riding or want to take your skills to the next level, our course will help you develop the fundamentals of pen riding, including how to identify and respond to health issues, assess common health challenges, safely remove an animal from the pen, and appropriately use horses in a feedlot environment.

This E-learning series has been by funded grain-fed levies and matching federal government R&D contributions in consultation with the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association. The course was developed by ALFA with Ryan Brown of Smithfield Cattle Co. and Dr Julie Brown of Western Noble House Veterinary Services.

The ALFA Fundamentals of Pen Riding course available on the feedlot industry’s training, education and careers hub, Feedlot TECH, comprises of six modules that coach livestock teams in best practice techniques. Teams will master skills in pen riding, identifying, assessing and understanding animal health, removing animals from the pen and best practice in horse husbandry.

The course is made up of six modules, each with a specific focus on an area of pen riding.

Read on to learn more about each and to enrol in individual modules.

Explore the fundamental principles of pen riding in this module, and discover how to prioritise cattle health and wellbeing, effectively identify issues and use low-stress handling techniques to positively influence welfare outcomes for the cattle at your feedlot.

This online course covers the core principles of pen riding.

Discover pen riding processes and adopt best practices to enhance animal wellbeing, safety, time efficiency and feedlot success. Learn to select optimal inspection times, recognise high challenge pens, use efficient pen riding patterns, identify health issues and document them following feedlot protocols.

This module covers best practices to maintain animal health at your feedlot. Empower yourself as a pen rider to make a genuine difference in the wellbeing of the cattle in your care. Gain the knowledge to recognise subtle signs, symptoms and cues that indicate potential health issues, and learn to choose appropriate treatment pathways for sick animals.

Pen riders play a pivotal role in ensuring the wellbeing of feedlot cattle. By learning factors impacting cattle health, understanding their body system, and gaining familiarity with common health concerns, you’ll develop the ability to identify health issues early, leading to improved welfare outcomes for cattle. This module covers health issues, body systems, and typical conditions concerning feedlot cattle.

Successfully removing an animal requires both skill and patience, all while keeping the animal's wellbeing a top priority and minimising stress levels. Obtain the knowledge to adhere to safe work practices, recognise removal risks, document crucial information, and employ low-stress handling techniques to remove animals from their pens.

The sixth module covers best practices for riding and managing horses in the feedlot. Horses are key contributors to the pen riding team, making their health and wellbeing a top priority. Acquire the expertise to assess horse suitability, provide essential care, ensure their wellbeing, reduce injury risks, and maintain equipment in the feedlot environment.

This course was created by ALFA in collaboration with Meat & Livestock Australia, in line with the Australian Feedlot Sector Career Development and Training Strategy. To find out more visit the ALFA website.

Access to select Feedlot TECH online training courses is free for all NFAS Accredited feedlots currently. Lot feeders are encouraged to register and enrol in courses at



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