‘The Great Dartmoor Cattle Drives’

‘The Only Cattle Drive in the UK’

At Meldon we have always used horses to move our cattle to their grazing areas on Dartmoor.

We ride western on Quarter horses for thier quiet easy going nature along with their agility and turn of speed needed for any uncooperative ones.

Driving Cattle

Move, muster and check cattle

Become a cowboy for a few days!

‘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. Each rider will have a position and a job to do, depending on their ability.

There is always a lead cow she is usually an older matriach cow. Each spring, the young calves go out with their mothers to learn their grazing areas, where the water is and where to return home to. On Dartmoor the herds grazzing area is called their ‘lear’, and each owners herd of cattle will have it’s own ‘lear’.

Moving cattle is not fast and there’ll be little galloping, however you will need to be able to ride over challenging terrain and be able to independantly.


Breathtaking scenery and views

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.

Cancellation policy:
For trips cancelled for whatever reason, any payments made can be used against another trip in 2024 or 2025 subject to availability, 

A full refund, minus the £100 deposit


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2024 Dates & Rates

6 nights (Sun – Sat)

Hotel option:
£1,920pp based on 2 sharing
£2,100 for single occupancy

‘Glamping’ option:
Limited numbers;
(see ‘Accommodation’ page)
£1,730 per person

5th – 11th May Includes one night camp-out  ***4 places available***
10% discount on above rates + free transfer from our nearest train station

9th – 15th June  ***3 places available***

14th – 20th July  ***3 places available***

11th – 17th August  ***6 places available***

28th Aug – 3rd Sept (Thurs – wed) Includes one night camp out  ***3 places available***

3 nights (Sun – Wed pm)

Hotel option:
£1,170 based on 2 sharing
£1290 for single occupancy

‘Glamping’ option:
Limited numbers;
(see ‘Accommodation’ page)
£1100 per person

Arrive pm/evening first day, depart after riding (5.00pm) on final day. Extra night B&B £70pp (shared room) £100pp (single occupancy)

29th April – 2nd May (Mon – Thurs)***2 places available, glamping option only***

21st – 24th July (Sun – Wed)***2 places available***

28th – 31st July (Sun – Wed)***Fully booked***

24th – 27th September  (Tues – Fri)***Fully booked***

Our Cattle Driving Year

May:  ‘Spring cattle turn-out’

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.

June:  ‘Bulling cow muster’

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

July:  ‘Calf weaning muster’

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

August: ‘Late summer turn-out’

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

Sept:  ‘Cow & calf muster’

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

Ranch holidays, Riding Holidays, Horse Riding Dartmoor