Driving cattle on horseback: how and why


A lot of people ask if you need experience riding with cattle for the Patagonia trip with Hooves. You absolutely don’t! Just horse riding experience. In this blog post I’ll tell you how the cattle drive works, why we move the cattle, and of course how much fun it is to ride horses with them. 

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Horse riding holiday in Argentina, Patagonia

Why we do the cattle drive in Argentina

Besides, of course, the 5 day horse riding holiday, during which we ride through stunning landscapes, on fabulous horses. Before the horse riding holiday part of the trip starts though, we drive cattle from one pasture to another on horseback for two days. We do that with the gauchos that work at the cattle farm. If you are going on the trip in March, you’ll be driving the cattle from the summer pastures to their winter pastures. In December, the other way around. This way the cattle get to graze on enough grass all year round. 

Horse riding holiday in Argentina Patagonia with cattle drive

Who’s there to help us with the cows?

Don’t worry, if you’re thinking that you don’t have any idea about how to drive cattle on horseback, the gauchos are there to help us. It’s actually completely up to you if you want to do anything with the cattle, or just come along for the trail ride. If you’re happy to just tag along and watch the gauchos get to work while you enjoy the views, go for it! 

Horse riding holiday in Argentina Patagonia

How to help the gauchos

Like I said before, you can choose whether or not to help the gauchos. If you would like to help, and it’s your first time driving cattle on horseback, I recommend watching for a few hours before coming to the rescue. When you’ve watched the gauchos do their thing, and learnt what to do when a cow or calf goes in the wrong direction, then vamos! Gallop after that cow and bring it back to the herd. During the equestrian meet-up in Patagonia last year, one of the girls had never driven cattle before, but by the end of the two days of cattle driving, she was an expert, and completely in her element! 

Horse riding holiday in Argentina Patagonia

Do you want to join the upcoming cattle drives in Argentina and gallop through the Patagonian mountains? Contact me directly to book a saddle on these horse riding holidays. The trips in 2023 are from 4 to 11 March, 18 to 25 March, and 14 to 21 December. 

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