‘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 inc Covid, any payments made can be used against another trip in 2022 or 2023 subject to availability, 

A full refund, minus the £100 deposit


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2022 Dates 

6 nights (Sun – Sat)

21st – 27th August  ‘Calving cow muster‘ ***2 places available (glamping at £1300)***

2nd – 8th Sept (Fri – Thurs) Includes one night camp out ***1 place available @ £1500***

25th September – 1st October ‘Cow and calf muster’ ***Fully booked***

3 nights (Sun – Wed pm)

Arrive pm/evening first day, depart after riding (5.00pm) on final day. Extra night B&B £60pp

21st – 24th August  ‘Calving cow muster’ ***Fully booked***

25th – 28th September ‘Cow & calf muster***Fully booked***

2023 Dates & Rates

6 nights (Sun – Sat)

Hotel option:
£1,600pp based on 2 sharing
£1,760 for single occupancy

‘Glamping’ option:
Limited numbers;
(see ‘Accommodation’ page)
£1440 per person

4th – 10th June Includes one night camp-out ***4 places available***

11th – 17th June ***4 places available***

16th – 22nd July ***Fully booked***

20th – 26th August   **3 places available***

1st – 7th Sept (Fri – Thurs) Includes one night camp out***7 places available***

3 nights (Sun – Wed pm)

Hotel option:
£975 based on 2 sharing
£1070 for single occupancy

‘Glamping’ option:
Limited numbers;
(see ‘Accommodation’ page)
£920 per person

Arrive pm/evening first day, depart after riding (5.00pm) on final day. Extra night B&B £60pp

29th April – 2nd May (Sat – Tue) ***Fully booked***

11th – 14th June ***Fully booked***

16th – 19th July ***Fully booked***

30th July – 2nd August ***7 places available***

20th – 23rd August   ***Fully booked***

26th – 29th September  (Tues – Fri)***6 places available***

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