(redirected from herding)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to herding: Herding cats
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

cull the herd

1. Literally, to separate or remove (and usually kill) inferior animals out of a herd so as to reduce numbers or remove undesirable traits from the group as a whole. We had to quickly cull the herd when it came to light that some cows might be carrying an infectious disease.
2. By extension, to separate or remove people from a larger group. With so many people applying for a limited number of jobs, employers have had to cull the herd by introducing much stricter criteria and a more elaborate application for hiring. Universities have long used standardized test results as a means of culling the herd of applicants they receive each year.
See also: cull, herd

be like herding cats

To be very unwieldy or unmanageable; to be nearly impossible to organize. Usually said of a group of people. Getting all of the extended family into their right places for the reunion photo was like herding cats! It's like herding cats trying to manage all these different software development teams.
See also: cat, herd, like

herd cats

To attempt to coordinate or control subjects that are uncooperative. Often used as a point of comparison in the phrase "like herding cats." Trying to get my two toddlers out the door these days is like herding cats!
See also: cat, herd

ride herd on (someone or something)

To closely observe or monitor someone or something to supervise or maintain control. An allusion to a cowboy riding on his horse to keep a herd of cattle in order. We want the groups of students to work independently, but we should have a teacher riding herd on each one to make sure they stay focused. Being a camp counselor is a lot of fun, but having to ride herd on a bunch of kids for two weeks at a time can be exhausting.
See also: herd, on, ride

herd someone or something together

to bunch people or animals together. Let's herd all the kids together and take them in the house for ice cream and cake. I herded all the puppies together and put them in a box while I cleaned their play area.
See also: herd, together

like herding frogs

Rur. chaotic; disorderly. (On the image of trying to direct frogs, which will jump any which way.) Trying to get those kids to march into the auditorium is like herding frogs. Trying to get everybody to cooperate is like herding frogs.
See also: frog, herd, like

ride herd on someone or something

Fig. to supervise someone or something. (Alludes to a cowboy supervising cattle.) I'm tired of having to ride herd on my kids all the time. My job is to ride herd on this project and make sure everything is done right.
See also: herd, on, ride

ride herd on

Keep close watch or tight control over, as in Aunt Martha is always riding herd on her bridge club, making sure they follow the rules . This idiom alludes to the cowboy who rides around a herd of cattle to keep them together. [Late 1800s]
See also: herd, on, ride

ride herd on someone/something

If someone rides herd on other people or their actions, they control them. It's his job to ride herd on organizers to keep them on schedule. Note: People sometimes use over instead of on. The ideal situation is one where everyone feels responsible and no one person has to ride herd over the others. Note: Originally, `riding herd' involved patrolling on horseback around a herd of animals, in order to make sure none of them wandered away.
See also: herd, on, ride, someone, something

ride herd on

keep watch over.
Literally, this North American expression means ‘guard or control a herd of cattle by riding round its edge’.
1999 Coloradoan (Fort Collins) That, in turn, would detract from his ability to ride herd on Washington special interests, allowing deficits to grow like mushrooms under a rotten log.
See also: herd, on, ride

ride ˈherd on somebody/something

(American English, informal) keep watch or control over somebody/something: Police are riding herd on crowds of youths on the streets.
See also: herd, on, ride, somebody, something

ride herd on

To keep watch or control over.
See also: herd, on, ride
References in periodicals archive ?
A growing body of work has been developed over the years, which have examined the herding behaviour across different scenarios.
Various studies indicated in table 1 supports herding behaviour.
Various studies have shown in their results that Investors are more likely to herd when selling rather than buying stocks, meaning that herding activity appears to be more pronounced in falling markets vis-a-vis rising markets.
As working dogs, herding dogs have been bred for generations to move livestock for hours each day.
It's important that you do not confuse herding dogs with livestock guardian dogs--they are not the same thing.
If you desire a herding dog, educate yourself on the breeds available and ensure a dog will fit the needs of both your farm and your lifestyle.
If herding piques your interest, be aware of two challenges you will face in getting started.
Many herding instructors use training techniques that include verbal and physical corrections.
Many people's first introduction to herding is an "instinct test" offered at local dog events.
As the credits were rolling at the end of the film, Ondrak said, ``I jumped up and said: If you want to see the real thing, we are the San Fernando Valley Herding Association.
1 -- color) Bridget, a 12-year-old border collie, steers sheep at a 40- acre ranch in Acton where dogs are trained in the herding art.
4) Seth, a 2-year-old border collie belonging to Joan Cox of Quartz Hill, gets the flock going during a herding lesson Wednesday.
2--color) Girls learn Saturday about the ancient art of herding sheep.
Vanderford said she was unaware of this sport when she decided to get a herding guard dog, but quickly found the training helped her four-legged friend.
Dogs that are bred for herding want to fulfill that,'' he said.