Preparing for a Cattle Drive
At Dryhead Ranch, our cattle drive vacations begin long before we ever hit the trail. It’s hard to imagine the sort of preparation that goes into a successful drive if you’ve never done it before. On your cattle drive holiday, you will have a hands-on experience every step of the way.
This means gathering tack and handling grub, brushing horses and packing gear, and most importantly listening to expert instruction from our Trail Boss. The Trail Boss is your ultimate authority out on the range; his years of experience driving cattle and riding the West country insures you will be ready to tackle the sometimes tricky work of making cows go where you want to go.
Once everything is ready to go, you will likely get up before the break of dawn to start the ride into the range. Our horses are born and bred for this work. They love nothing more than taking their riders out to herd cattle. Just be prepared for a good long ride. There are more than 800 head of cattle out there and a lot of range to cover.
Once you reach the range, our Trail Boss will pair your with an experienced cowboy who will take one of many carefully-chosen positions around the herd. Driving cattle back to Dryhead Ranch can be a leisurely experience… even kids will have no trouble keeping up, and we make allowances for all skill levels. But don’t let that fool you. The first rule of the drive is “Keep your head up!”
This is because cows don’t always go where you want them to go. It is up to the trail boss, his team of cowboys, and our seasonal help (that means you!) to keep track of all the cattle until they reach the lush grazing lands at Dryhead ranch. Years of experience and keen instincts tell the trail boss and his cowboys where to drive the cattle, but only diligence and perseverance make sure the job gets done.
Along the line, our guests enjoy food from our chuck wagon and the incomparable experience of bonding over victories and challenges on the range with our seasoned staff. They help count and identify the cattle, using ear tags and brands to make sure Dryhead Ranch cows are coming home and everybody else isn’t. Most importantly, they learn valuable trade skills you can’t get anywhere else.
Driving cattle is hard work, but it is also deeply rewarding. There is nothing like hanging up your bridle at the end of a successful drive and settling in with a warm cup of coffee and a bunch of new friends to talk about what went great, what went bad, and what will happen next. This is the sort of thing you can only get on authentic cattle drive vacations with Dryhead Ranch.
We’d love you to come and give us a hand on our next drive. We love herding cattle, but we love sharing the excitement and reward of the ranch life even more!
Interested in a Cattle Drive Vacation? Send us Your Questions or Comments.