Cattle drives at Burnt Well Guest Ranch

BY Jody Dahl | Tue 17 Jan, 2012

Cattle drives are an iconic part of any dude ranch vacation and the ultimate western riding experience for any wannabe cowboy or cowgirl. Cattles drives are one of the most exciting horseback activities you can do on a dude ranch vacation, and Burnt Well Guest Ranch in New Mexico, USA, provides a selection of cattle drives that caters for all ages and riding abilities - so you can experience the thrill of a cattle drive no matter how inexperienced or experienced a rider you are - scroll down for details.

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Cattle drives at Burnt Well

Patricia Chesser from Burnt Well Ranch explains: "Due to the lack of grass at the ranch after the drought of 2011, our only cattle drive for 2012 will take place on October 1-7, Monday afternoon to Sunday morning. The details are yet to be confirmed, but we hope it will be in conjunction with the 'Chisum Challenge' Ranch Rodeo in Roswell. We have proposed that our cattle is used in the wild cow milking and, if the rodeo board accepts our proposal, we will drive the cattle to be used in the rodeo from Burnt Well to the Roswell rodeo arena. Guests will also be able to watch the very cows that they drove to the rodeo!

"Whatever the board decides, there will still be a cattle drive on these dates - but details will be confirmed at a later date. What we can guarantee at this time however, is that guests will be active participants in an authentic 'old west' style cattle drive in the Burnt Well tradition and quality.

"Our typical 'old west' style cattle drives are adult-only (see cattle drives descriptions below for more details). For a group of 6 or more (we take 10-12 riders on a drive) we will put together a 'old west' style cattle drive replica that may or may not actually leave Burnt Well property. Unless you've been on one of our other cattle drives, you would not be able to tell the difference between the real and replica cattle drives. Why, you might ask - as people have in the past - do we tell you whether it's a replica cattle drive or not if the two are so similar? This is just not the way we do things at Burnt Well - we're not going to play games with you and pretend to be doing something we're not. If we can't offer an authentic cattle drive because of circumstances out of our control but can offer a replica of one, we will be upfront with you from the start."

Interested in reserving your spot on the October 2012 cattle drive? Reservations have already started coming in, so book your spot today! Simply visit Burnt Well's ranch profile on for contact details or to email the ranch. 

2012 prices
$1,710.00 plus tax, 20% deposit required upon booking.
Bookings taken on a 'first deposit received' basis.
Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted, as are personal checks.


Cattle Drives at Burnt Well Guest Ranch

Dude Ranch Style cattle drives

Drive any number of cattle from point A to point B, which could be from one to 10 miles. On these drives, we typically sleep and eat most, if not all meals, at the ranch. We may have the occasional need to pack a lunch in the saddle bag. We can take just about any age, riding and/or adventure level. This type of cattle drive is very common, if not the norm, at Burnt Well on most regular ranch stays, unless you specify that this is not what you want to do.

Since we are a working cattle ranch of 15,000 acres, there is always plenty of cattle work to be done. The need to round up the cattle and drive them various distances to different pens could very well have you in the saddle for many miles or hours a day. Our guests have told us that our cattle work on a regular ranch stay is more than many other ranches' “specified” cattle drives.

Authentic "Old West" Style cattle drives

As with our dude ranch-style cattle drives, on our authentic "old west" cattle drives, we are actually doing a job, not just moving cows in the name of a cattle drive.

On these cattle drives we camp out on the trail for at least three nights, sometimes four or five. We provide you with a "cowboy" bedroll (a three inch mattress made up with sheets & blankets and rolled in a tarp) and we have "cowboy" teepees in case of inclement weather. There are also cots for those who are a little squeamish about being right on the ground! We usually make between 10 and 15 miles a day with the cattle and are in the saddle between 5-10 hours a day. We start early, driving cattle by sun up, and will try to be at camp by early afternoon.

Hot breakfasts and suppers are cooked Dutch oven-style and over the campfire while out on the trail. There is always plenty to eat. After breakfast you pack your lunch for the day, choosing from a wide variety of choices, along with a delicious wrap made with the "extra Chesser natural beef" from supper the night before.

Nightly campfires, a blanket of twinkling stars on a New Mexico black velvet sky and an evening of sweet fiddle music. Since we are out for the duration of the drive, actually doing a job, and living and eating in the elements, the conditions can sometimes be unpleasant. Therefore, our authentic "old west style" cattle drives are adult-only. They are for adventurous adults with plenty of stick-to-it-ness! The stuff memories and bucket lists are made of...

TAGS: burnt well guest ranch, working ranch vacations, cattle drives, dude ranch vacations, new mexico dude ranches, top50ranches, rodeos

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