With a degree in Biosystems Engineering from Clemson University, an old remote control car and four years of tweaking, Billy Weir developed the RealCow Training System, which does everything but moo and poop!
Like all good inventions, Realcow was born out of necessity. A cutting horse trainer based in South Carolina, Weir had used almost every type of mechanical cow on the market, but said they were limited and he needed something better.
“Where I live it’s hard to get a good supply of cattle,” Weir said. “English-bred cattle are slow moving and hard to train a horse on and I wanted to make a machine that would make up for the slack.”
Weir claims one of the benefits that differentiates the RealCow from other machines is its unpredictability for the horse which is what happens when working live cattle. Unlike traditional mechanical cows which are attached to a rope or a track and move on the same line, the RealCow uses a rubber track system that work like wheels that can be moved anywhere over the arena.
“It puts different pressure on the horse on all different angles that other cows can’t do, like a real cow,” said Weir’s training client, Monty Nix. “It’s the most realistic thing I’ve ever worked to [simulate] a cow, out of everything out there nowadays.”
Along with its resemblance to a real cow in both looks and movement, Weir says that it’s most beneficial because of its versatility.
“I can run it anywhere,” says Weir. “The horse connects with it better than other machines because it’s not in one place.”
Weir developed the RealCow to help amateurs and non pros that weren’t practiced at working live cattle. But it’s also a highly effective training device for pros and giving lessons.
“The Real Cow is an amazing tool for both horse and rider, and it allows me to take my training sessions to a whole new level,”
said Weir’s training client, Kaylyn Huggins. “I get the ability to feel as if I’m working a live cow, but in a controlled setting. It allows me to truly focus on myself and my horse while still getting the same feel from him as if we’re working a live cow. The RealCow has allowed my horse and I to improve tremendously and grow as a team.”
Weir says that the RealCow is great for horses of all ages and stages of equine sports from two- year-olds to horses with problems and works well for all levels of riders.
“The horse I am riding now was a serious struggle for me, initially, to connect with him,” said RealCow user Becky Huggins. “Any confidence I had with my previous horse was gone and I felt like I was starting from scratch. The RealCow is what really helped build my confidence with this new horse. Because it looks like a real cow, there is no question about where my horse and I need to be in relation to the cow which is super important when working live cattle.”
The RealCow made its first debut at the 2017 Derby, now, Weir’s current goals are getting everyone to try it.
“It’s worked great with my program and I’ve been successful with it,” said Weir. “I think all other products are great, but the horse reacts to it better because it’s worked in different spots.”
The RealCow is worked with a handheld remote and the RealCow’s battery can work 20 head of horses on a single charge. The cow can also be easily transported.
“The RealCow’s mobility also allows us to work in different places and in different directions,” said Becky. “When you go to shows, no two arenas are exactly the same and it really helps to change it up a bit so the horse and I are able to easily adjust and further my confidence in the pen.”
The RealCow is different to other mechanical systems by adding pressure to the horse coming at and going away from them.
“The Real Cow is a versatile, easy to use training tool that has proven to produce amazing results,” said Kaylyn. “I am truly grateful for what Billy Weir and the RealCow Training System has down for myself and my horse.”