The Riding Holidays & Cattle Drive Dates

‘The only cattle drive in the UK’

Driving Cattle

At various times of the year it will be possible to help with moving, mustering and checking the cattle. The ‘busy periods’ below will be the best chance to join in with this work

‘The fastest way to move cattle is slowly!’

Cattle respond well to being moved by horses. Horses are quiet and the cattle are used to being moved by them, the cattle are not threatened but have a natural respect for the horse. The horse walks at much the same speed as the cattle and often anticipate the cattle movements.  The riders work as a team with most flanking at the sides of the herd with just a couple at the rear, and one or two at the head. There is always a lead cow who the others follow. Ours is called ‘Dunny’ and is a lighter colour than the rest. She is a young cow, the job used to be her mothers’, (same colour) when she was with the herd. Each rider will have a position and a job to do, depending on their ability. Driving cattle is  immensely satisfying, doing something that has barely changed for hundreds of years. The type of country we ride over has some breathtaking scenery and varies, through woodland, along valley bottoms,  up steep inclines, down steep declines, across rivers, through rock clitter (rock strewn areas) and over hill tops, where you can look down on everything around.

‘Head ’em up, move ’em out!

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2017 Cattle drive dates

3 nights – 3 days on horseback          £670pp
6 nights – 5 days on horseback           £1,070pp
Camp-outs are an option and are an additional £50

Based on 2 sharing, 10% surcharge on single occupancy

6 nights

 

27th Aug – 2nd Sept ‘Late summer turn-out’

24th Sept – 30th Sept ‘Cow and calf muster’

3 nights

 

27th Aug – 30th Aug   ‘Late summer turn-out’

29th Aug – 1st Sept  ‘Late summer turn-out’

24th- 27th Sept    ‘Cow and calf muster’

26th – 29th Sept    ‘Cow and calf muster’ 

28th Oct – 1st Nov   ‘Autumn clearance’

2018 Cattle drive dates

3 nights – 3  days on horseback             £720
6 nights – 5 days on horseback               £1,150

Rates based on 2 persons sharing a twin/double room, please add 10% for single occupancy.

***n.b. All bookings confirmed before 1st Jan 2018 receive a 5% reduction***
***or free Exeter airport/train/bus station transfer***

Maximum of 8 riders

6 nights

29th April – 5th May Spring cattle turn-out’    

17th June – 23rd June ‘Bulling cow muster’      

15th July – 21st July  ‘Weaning muster’          

19th Aug – 25th Aug ‘Calving cow muster’    

23rd Sept – 29th Sept ‘Cow and calf muster’     

3 nights

Arrive pm/evening first day, depart after riding (5.00pm) on final day.

Extra night B&B £60pp

29th April – 2nd May  Spring cattle turn-out’     

17th – 20th June   ‘Bulling cow muster’                           

15th  – 18th July    ‘Weaning muster’                                           

19th – 22nd Aug  ‘Calving cow muster’           

23rd- 26th Sept    ‘Cow and calf muster’
         

Anyone who wishes to move cattle but can’t make the above dates, please contact us, it is possible to adjust some of these dates.

 

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What the work involves;

‘Spring cattle turn-out’ May

The cows and autumn born calves are moved from their winter quarters up on to the moor for the summer, a distance of about 8km.

‘Bulling cow muster’  June

Some spring calving cows need to be brought down to the farm to run with the bull for the summer.

‘Weaning muster’ July

The cows and calves need to be brought back to the farm for weaning

‘Late summer turn-out’ August

The cows that have been running with the bull, for the summer are drove back to Dartmoor

‘Cow & calf muster’ End of September and through October

The freshly calved cows need to come down to better grazing near the Farm as winter approaches.

‘Autumn round up’. End of October.

All cattle need to be gathered off the moor by 1st November.

Our routine is very much governed by the weather, which can be changeable, occasionally preventing us from going on the moor. During any stay guests are free to take a day out of the saddle, if they wish, and explore the area, the granite way cycle route is 200m from the farm, you can cycle or walk to Okehampton 5km, or just relax and put your feet up. We have 2 acre coarse fishing lake, or crystal clear rivers to bathe in.