Modern Day Ranching in the UK
RANCHING: Farming stock (cattle, sheep, etc.) using specifically bred Stock Horses trained for herding
and cutting work. Typically Quarter Horse, American Paint, and sometimes Appaloosa stock.
"Farmer of the Year" - Ranching in Dartmoor
Philip Heard farms 660 acres at Meldon near Okehampton which starts at 800 feet above sea level and rises to 1500 feet.
Cattle driving is a carefully planned affair – 150 stampeding cattle across Dartmoor would cause more than a headache or two and Phil has been rounding up stock on the moors since he was a young child.
Mr. Heard, a recipient of the The Farmer's Weekly's "Farmer of the Year" award says, "Quad bikes have taken over on many farms over the past 20 years. We continue to use horses due to the terrain; we believe the cattle are quieter, and moved at a gentler pace and perform better when moved on horseback. Cattle have a natural respect for horses, while horses soon learn to pre-empt what the cattle are going to do."
He is also an advocate of natural horsemanship, and adds, "It is the way we have naturally developed working with the horses and cattle over many years before it became fashionable."