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365 Days in Horse Country – Cattle Drives

Blog by Michael Stuart Webb | October 17th, 2013

365 Days in Horse Country – Cattle Drives


In the mid-nineteenth century, cattle drives were common ways for a cowboy to spend days or weeks.  Moving cattle was an essential part of a cowhand’s job.  Cattle needed to be herded from winter grazing lands to summer ones and vice versa, as well as to the auction yard when their time was up.

Even with all our modern technology, old-fashioned cattle drives still take place on working cattle ranches.  Just like in the old days, cattle needed to be moved from winter grazing lands to summer pastures and vice versa.  But this time, it’s not just the cowboys who move the cattle.  Ordinary people come from all over an pay good money to participate.

Many cattle ranches offer cattle drives as part of a horseback vacation package.  Guests are put up in nice lodges at night, and they are given a seasoned cowhorse to ride during the day.  They move cattle under the guidance of ranch hands, sometimes helping move the cattle to new grazing, or other times driving them from one area of the ranch to another.

People who choose to spend their vacation time chasing cows often have a nostalgic longing for a bygone era, when equines were the only means of transportation.  They gain the experience of being out in the country, communing with nature and working with animals, just like folks did in the old days.