A Modern Day Drove

Beneath cloudless cerulean skies we took an early drive into the forest this morning.

A cool breeze blew along sun-dappled lanes like these named


and Church.

At a corner of the latter a tractor ploughed a field some distance from a couple of grazing workhorses within view of adjacent woodland.

Along the road to Beaulieu a number of pools scooped out by generally regular rains have been dry for most of this year, which must be disappointing for

foraging ponies and their foals.

Peering ahead along St Leonard’s Road we discerned that a developing traffic delay had been caused by a modern day cattle drove executed in a more comfortable manner than the cowboys of old by a couple of motorised farmers herding them to their home field fronting the Isle of Wight. At one point I disembarked and attempted to keep pace with the animals while slaloming round splatted pats littering the tarmac. I had no chance of catching them.

Further along the lane a familiar string of ponies trotted on the edge of the verge. The little Shetland had no trouble holding its own.

We carried out a late afternoon watering session before dining on Jackie’s splendid chilli con carne and my plain boiled rice, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Rioja.


  1. Your wooded roads look enchanted, the ponies look regal, and happening upon a cattle drive is amazing (to me). Perhaps they weren’t unheard of some years past a bit farther south in New Jersey–there is a Cowtown rodeo.

  2. Rather you than me, trying to avoid the splattered pats on the route. You sound very game in your efforts to keep up with herd. Beautiful photos of the ponies again. The little Shetland is adorable.

  3. We see shepherds buzzing about our hills on quad bikes, covering ground that would have taken hours in the old days in no time at all now. The pictures of horses on the heath were very fine.

  4. “…slaloming round splatted pats…” is a job in and of itself! πŸ˜‰ HA! πŸ˜€ And whilst doing THAT you snapped such amazing photos…Way to go, Derrick! πŸ™‚

    Looks like everyone…man-kind, animal-kind, and vehicle-kind are all trying to get along and share space. Good! πŸ™‚

    Love the modern day cattle drive! I’ve never seen that before. Just glad the cattle were not the ones driving the vehicles. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  5. Ranchers here will use trucks for herding occasionally, but horseback’s still pretty common, especially when they’re having to move cattle quickly, as in a flood. The ones you’ve pictured look as though they’d be perfectly able to take care of themselves, sans trucks or horses. Well-behaved, and cute beyond words, especially that Shetland.

  6. What a string of cattle and ponies today! I love that little Shetland. I learned to ride on a pony, although she was a bit bigger than that one.

    It is hot here today, 90 degrees F last time I looked at the porch thermometer.

  7. You have such interesting adventures! I’d be tempted to bring the ponies and foals some water, but I guess they manage to find what they need.

  8. delightful string of cattle! beautiful countryside dotted with foals and ponies! i love chili con carne πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  9. Your finale two photos were wonderful Derrick…. Fascinating to see the ponies in single file and orderly along the verge of the roadside…

  10. Moving a dairy herd to and from milking twice a day is quite a common sight on country lanes if you happen upon the right time of day. There used to be a dairy farm at the top of our lane and I thoroughly enjoyed following them up the lane. My place used to be a dairy farm too but that was a few years before we moved here.

      1. The one you saw is a slightly more modern way of moving the herd than ours. Wonderful way of traffic calming!

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