Steering Oxen

Unlike horses and mules, oxen are not directly controlled with bridle, bit, and reins handled by a driver seated in the wagon behind them. Instead, the drover walks to the left of his teams while giving direction with voice, body  language, and the whip. “The drover does not follow the oxen, as some writers seem to think,” Ford points out. “The oxen go where they think the drover wants them to go. They know they are expected to give him the room he needs to maneuver by watching the direction of his travel, his whip signals, or his silent body language, such as turning or changing pace. A properly trained nigh ox knows he must keep pace with and stay at arm’s length from the  drover on his left side.” And those are just the requirements for the “undergraduateox degree.