All over the Pyrénées you will have the opportunity to watch all sorts of animals, domesticated or wild : thousands of ewes, exclusive Pyreneans cows, wild horses in Ariège and the Basque Country, herds going up and down mountain pastures during transhumance, some rare wild cows or dogs, forever the shepherds companions leading and protecting their flocks.
They intensively watch passers-by hiking through the Orlu reserve in Ariège.
 

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From an ancestral tradition, the Gascony cows, since it’s them we’re talking about, spend every summer in pastures all along the Pyrenees.
 
Just like their cousins, the Casta, which can be identified by its large horns or also the Lourdaise, they spend more time in the mountains than in stables.
 
All across the Pyrenean Mountain range it’s easy to see many breeding animals wandering freely, mostly sheep.
 
Considering the historical and cultural importance of pastoralism, it is not surprising to come across large flock of ewes.
Only the expert eye will be able to distinguish the Tarasconnaise, which makes most of the Pyreneans flocks, from the Castillonaise, the Barègeoise or also the Basco-Bearnese that can be seen in the Ouzon or Ossau valleys.
 
Only the black headed Manech, seen between the Haute-Soule and the Aldudes valley may be distinguished from the others.

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You can walk alongside them during the famous transhumances during which, at the end of spring or beginning of summer, the shepherds take their flocks towards the mountain pastures, taking the return path at the beginning of fall. Sometimes, flocks of several hundred animals can be seen strolling across the asphalt roads, led by the impetuous “labrit”, the historical shepherd dog from the Pyrenees, which these days tends to be replaced by its long lost Scottish cousin, the Border Collie. Watching and protecting the flock against predators, the Patou, mountain dog from the Pyrenees, has quite an impressive presence.
 
One can also encounter Merens horses, bred in semi-freedom in the Ariège mountain, or, on the other side of the mountain range, the Pottokak frolicking above Urepel along with  the “betizu” (or betisoak), the unique wild cow of the Pyrenees, now sadly threatened by extinction.