The Dartmoor Cattle Drive

Dartmoor England: (IT-ENG02)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/england_dartmoor_cattle_drive.aspx

Introduction
Dartmoor England
Attend and be a part of the only cattle drive in the UK!

Whether it is your first time on a drive, or you've done it before, ever rider will play their part in helping out move, muster, and checking cattle. Each day you'll mount up and tend to the cattle depending on their needs and the season. Cattle respond well to being moved by horses as horses are quiet and the and the cattle have a natural respect for them. The horse walks at much the same speed as the cattle and often anticipate the cattle movements.  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. Get ready to head 'em up and move 'em out!

Accomodation

Accommodations

This is a stationary ride, so all nights are spent at the same location.

Description
The Castle Inn is a traditional 16th century inn of great character resting on the fringes of Dartmoor National Park. They have a total of 8 bedrooms, all ensuite and privately decorated. All the rooms offer tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryers, flat screen television, bath sheets, hand towels and complimentary toiletries. WIFI is available onsite. The Inn has its own restaurant/pub, where you can order dinner. Laundry is available at the farm for an additional fee.

It is also possible to be accommodated a the farm in one of 2 'shepherd hut'. One has a double bed and the other has two singles, (linen provided). Each are very cozy and come with a wood-burning stove (wood provided), table and chairs. Guests staying ‘on farm’ also have use of our lodge's kitchen and bathroom etc.
When staying on the far, we provide the ingredients for your breakfast, bread, cereals, milk.

**Camp-outs are possible upon request for an additional fee. Please inquire

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is mandatory if we are unable to find another rider to share.


Meals
Breakfasts, picnic lunches, and a snack after rides (tea and cakes) are included. Dinners are not included, but guests are free to make use of the Castle’s excellent restaurant or eat out elsewhere in the evening. Breakfast will either be at the Inn or the farm while lunch will either be at the farm, a packed lunch, or en-route at one of many fabulous local pubs.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to dietary restrictions given prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Level & Terrain
Riders need to be reasonably fit and at least a strong intermediate standard or better. Riders are expected to have ridden several different types of horses and can independently manage a horse’s care. Their seat is secure, they are able to control a horse at walk, trot and canter and do not apply unintentional aids to the horse when they lose balance or become unseated. They know how to rise or post to the trot and ask for and obtain a specific lead or change in lead. They are capable of riding a less experienced horse.
The terrain involves crossing streams, shallow rivers, undulating ground, up and down steep inclines, and would not be suitable for novice or inexperienced riders. 

Tack and Riding Style
We normally ride Western, however we can provide English saddles if the guests requests. Our style of riding is very much akin to ‘Natural Horsemanship’. We like riders to be relaxed and ride with soft hands.

Horses
We have a selection of fantastic Quarter Horses with calm attitude and appetite for work. All are western trained, very sure-footed and a pleasure to ride. We also have a selection of Irish hunters (some western trained some English style), all a pleasure to ride and cross the terrain with ease. Heights range from 14:3 to 16:2hh.

Guides
The guides are all local moor men or women, who know the moor well. They know where the best crossings are, and where to avoid, as there are areas where it is unsuitable for horses. Some of the guides are members the Dartmoor Rescue Group; some are range clearers for the army on the moor. All are excellent equestrians, and are first-aid trained.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary- subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
We will meet all the clients at the welcoming Castle Inn Lydford in the evening for a briefing about what to expect from their stay.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Castle Inn Lydford


Day 2: Introductory Ride
Clients are collected from the Castle Inn after breakfast and taken to the Farm where they meet their assigned horse.
Today's ride is all about making sure the rider and horse are compatible. We will start riding in the morning and stop for lunch. Lunches each day will be carried in saddle bags. Return to the Castle Inn in the evening.
Riding: 4-5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Castle Inn Lydford


Day 3 to 6: Cattle Drives
We will be doing various cattle moving tasks, 4 - 5 hours riding with a stop for lunch.
Riding: 4-5 hours each day
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Castle Inn Lydford


**for the 4-day trip, your ride finishes in the evening of Day 4 at 5:00pm 

Day 7: Departure
Departure in the morning.
Meals included: Breakfast

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The work that will be done varies depending on the time of the year:

‘Spring cattle turn-out’ in 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’ in June: Some spring calving cows need to be brought down to the farm to run with the bulls for the summer.

‘Weaning muster’ in July: The cows and calves need to be brought back to the farm for weaning

‘Late summer turn-out’ in August: The cows that have been running with the bulls for the summer are drove back to Dartmoor

‘Cow & calf muster’ End of September through October: The freshly calved cows need to come down to better grazing near the Farm as winter approaches.

‘Autumn round up’ at 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.


Rates and Dates for The Dartmoor Cattle Drive

Rates include:

Accommodations, All Breakfasts and Lunches, Luggage transfer each day & 5 or 3 riding days
Limited supply of hats available, but guests are recommended to bring their own.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionGBP ~US$
    A
    20207-day trip, B&B£1195$1580
    • Single supplement£150$200
  • B
    20204-day trip, B&B£745$985
    • Single supplement£75$100
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.32

Rates Note:

Camping out possible, please inquire

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:

Camping out possible, please inquire


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionGBP~US$
2020 Transfer from Exeter, roundtrip, per car
This is a "Group Rate"
£ 80 $110

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 06/14 - 06/20 7d / 6n 7-day trip, B&B 2 /8 Expired
B 2020 06/14 - 06/17 4d / 3n 4-day trip, B&B 2 /8 Expired
B 2020 07/12 - 07/15 4d / 3n 4-day trip, B&B 2 /8 Expired
A 2020 07/12 - 07/18 7d / 6n 7-day trip, B&B 2 /8 Expired
A 2020 08/23 - 08/29 7d / 6n 7-day trip, B&B 2 /8 Sold Out
B 2020 08/23 - 08/26 4d / 3n 4-day trip, B&B 2 /8 Sold Out
B 2020 09/27 - 09/30 4d / 3n 4-day trip, B&B 2 /8 Sold Out
A 2020 09/27 - 10/03 7d / 6n 7-day trip, B&B 2 /8 Sold Out

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Dinners, Transfers from/to exeter & Gratuities

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For The Dartmoor Cattle Drive (IT-ENG02):
If restrictions are in place and you are unable to travel we are offering the following:
  • Possible to postpone your trip to later in the 2020 at no extra charge
  • Possible to postpone your trip to 2021 at 2020 rates, provided full payment is received by 31st of Dececember 2020
  • Anyone wishing to book a trip for 2021 can do so at 2020 rates, if full payment is received by 31st of December 2020
Guests that have a car are asked to drive from the B&B to the farm each day, for any that we transfer, the driver and the passengers are to wear a face mask. The same applies for airport pickups.
All horses will be tacked prior to guest arrival, wranglers will also untack the horses at the end of the ride. Wranglers will be wearing face coverings and gloves when tacking up and mounting guests.
No guests to go in the stables or tack room.
In the guest toilet, wipes are provided for each user to wipe all surfaces they have touched before leaving.
Each guest is given a COVID-19 information sheet on arrival.

We want you to have a enjoyable stay with us, however due to the current restrictions there are additional precautions we ask everyone to adhere to.
  • Additional personal items required:
  • Face covering/mask (does not need to be a surgical mask)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Pack of wipes
  • Surgical gloves (optional)
Precautions whilst at the farm:
  1. Please be conscious of social distancing at all times, try to keep at least 1m+ from all other guests and wranglers.
  2. Unfortunately we are unable to transfer guests between the B&B and the farm; please drive your car to and from Meldon each day.
  3. When using the farm toilet, before leaving, please wipe off any surfaces that have been touched with the wipes provided.
  4. Our wranglers will tack and untack the horses each day, please give them room to work around the horses. Our wranglers have been instructed to wear a face covering and surgical gloves when working in the stable area. These will be removed when mounted.
  5. Only the wranglers to go in the stables and tack room. Please leave plenty of room around the stables door area to facilitate easy access.
  6. We will provide lunch boxes each day, on returning from the ride, please empty any leftover contents in the bin and wipe out with the wipes provided. The lunch boxes will be cleaned each night. You will be provided with a water bottle, which you will be responsible for during your stay. Please ensure it is left at the farm when you leave.
  7. We can only ride in groups of 6, As there are 8 guests + wranglers, we will therefore go out in two groups of 4+2 wranglers, 5 minutes apart, we will be in sight of each other most of the time, and have lunch at the same spot slightly apart.
  8. As this is our first fully booked week, it will take some adjusting to, please bear with us as some things may take longer than usual.


For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: Castle Inn Lydford
Airport: Exeter
Transfer: Exeter

Climate:
                                            Okehampton area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

43

43

46

50

56

61

64

64

59

54

48

44

Average Low Temperature (°F)

37

37

39

40

46

51

55

54

51

47

42

39

Average High Temperature (°C)

6

6

8

10

13

16

18

18

15

12

9

7

Average Low Temperature (°C)

3

3

4

5

8

11

13

12

11

8

5

4

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Dartmoor has a temperate climate which is generally wetter and milder than locations at similar height in the rest of England. The weather year round varies from approximately 5 °C - 18°C. July and August are the warmest months and the fall and winter sees more rainfall. However, you should keep in mind that Dartmoor is known for its changeable weather.

The Farm sits at 800 ft, we rise to 2,000ft where it can be quite a bit cooler than at the farm. We strongly recommend warm riding wear and good riding waterproofs, a long slicker type is usually the most practical.

What To Bring:
What to bring

'There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing!’

Meldon Farm sits at 800 ft, we rise to 2,000ft where it can be quite a bit cooler than at the farm, we strongly recommend warm riding wear and good riding waterproofs, a long slicker type is usually the most practical.
  • Riding hat (mandatory- best to bring your own because we only have a very limited supply and cannot guarantee fit)
  • Boots with heels are also mandatory
  • Comfortable warm riding wear, jeans, polo shirts, jumpers, fleece shower-proof coat etc.
  • Chaps full or half. (optional)
  • Waterproof coat, ‘Drizabone’ slicker type is recommended
  • Lip balm and sun cream
  • Casual evening wear