Welcome to HorseBack UK

HorseBack UK is a charity created to provide a safe and secure environment to teach the art of Horsemanship for Military, Corporate and Communities




We endeavour to integrate serving personnel and veterans into the rural community inspiring a meaningful and rewarding future

HorseBack UK

There is something about the outside of a horse that it is good for the inside of a man

Winston Churchill

No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn't trying

Tony Robbins

An introduction to HorseBack UK

If you would like to attend one of our courses please call us now on:

01339 880487

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It was a logistics week at HorseBack, which meant that all the work was going on inside the office. Outside, the September sun gentled the hills and everything was quiet and the horses had a well-deserved rest. ...

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Operations Update:

It has been an extremely busy 2016 here at HorseBack UK, especially during these past summer months. We still have two more phase 1 courses to run before the end of the year and very much look forward to introducing those course attendees to the beautiful and majestic Highlands of Scotland. Also to our ever ready and diligent horses that play a very big part in the work we do over our three phase program. Our courses are not only introduced to horsemanship but also falconry, bushcraft, fishing, conservation and culminating in a small overnight expedition into the bonny hills of Glen Tanar to attain the prestigious John Muir Award.
This would not be possible without the support, help and fundraising of some very special friends of Horseback UK and of course your good selves. Led and guided in many cases by our own Fundraising Manager Ian Wren, there are supporters out there striving to help the cause and enable the work we do here for our injured service personnel and veteran community to continue whilst we are delivering to those individuals who have given so much in the service and defense of this country.
I as the Operations Manager would like to emphasize the major part these generous individuals, couples, teams and groups do for the running of this charity and over the next few weeks I will be highlighting their endeavors over 2016 and saying a heartfelt 'Thank You' to each of them from all of us.
Today we would like to introduce and in many instances, especially in the veteran community who they support tirelessly, reintroduce you to Tim and Lesley from the Grand Day Out.
Over the last twelve months The Grand Day Out Initiative has raised £3517 for HorseBack UK.
Tim Grantham and his wife Lesley, founders of the Initiative, are delighted to have chosen HBUK as their Charity for 2015 – 2016. In parity with R&A Championships surplus funds (932.64p) were made available to HBUK from The Grand Day Out Gala Dinner that took place at the 2015 Open Championship St Andrews in July 2015, which helped considerably with flood damage that affected the centre earlier in the year. Coupled with their annual Golf Day at The Duke’s Course St Andrews in June 2016 resulted in a grand total of £3517 being presented to HBUK.
The good news is that Tim & Lesley have again chosen HorseBack UK to be their selected Charity for their annual 2017 Golf Day scheduled for 9th June at The Duke’s Course St Andrews.
Tim Grantham said ‘Lesley and I are so impressed with the work HBUK do for our Veterans, to choose them again as our selected Charity for 2017 was a no brainer. We have a number of exciting new events in the planning stage and HBUK will be our major beneficiary once these come to fruition’.

I hope you all will join us in conveying our gratitude and thanks to Tim and Lesley for their tireless endeavors, and continued support and help of this organization, HorseBack UK. Again, without people such as these we would not be able to carry out the valuable work we do! ...

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  • The elements of HorseBack.

    This week sees the end of another dazzling course. We feel that we have been breaking out every positive adjective in the book lately, but each group this year seems to have got better and better. It’s not just that the new three week structure for the courses has enabled our veterans to hone and […]

  • Fun.

    If you had walked through the HorseBack gates this week, you would have seen men on horses, slouching in their Western saddles like something out of The Magnificent Seven, laughing their heads off. You would have heard the sound of banter and unrepeatable jokes. You would have seen serious drills and hilarious horsing games. That […]

  • New partnerships and old friends.

    It’s been a great week at HorseBack. We had some very special visitors, who will be part of some mighty plans for the future. It’s always a great pleasure, building new partnerships, expanding our scope, and working with people who have so much knowledge, enthusiasm and expertise. Jay Hare did a presentation, Jock and Emma […]

  • The HorseBack challenge.

    The horses at HorseBack are not dozy old riding school ponies. They are serious horses. Although they are rigorously schooled and comprehensively educated for this work, there is nothing push-button about them. They are all individual characters, and they sometimes have their moments. One of them had such a moment this morning. He did not […]

  • The gift of time.

    One of the best innovations at HorseBack over the last year has been extending the courses from one week to three. The weeks are staggered, so that, for instance, this group now doing their Phase Two will come back in September for their Phase Three. This has achieved several things. First of all there is […]

  • The art of the possible.

    At HorseBack, we are always looking to try something new. We constantly want to widen our horizons, expand our scope, and generally keep ourselves on our toes. Sometimes, we get lucky and the stars align and a novel opportunity is presented to us. This happened recently when we met Nick, whom you can see in […]

  • A warrior goes to the games.

    One of our regular volunteer veterans sends us a message. He is just off to the Warrior Games, held this year at West Point in America. ‘I’m doing cycling, shot and discus,’ he writes. This is from a gentleman whose crashing Post-Traumatic Stress once produced in him so much rage and denial that he felt […]

  • The archers.

    This week, we decided to do something a little different at HorseBack UK. We were very lucky to have with us Dan and Claire Sawyer from the British Horseback Archery Association. They have been great friends and supporters of our work, and now they arrived to run a course in archery. The assembled group included […]

  • All they want to do is talk about the horses.

    The HorseBack horses do many, many things for the humans who work with them. It’s much more than simply getting on and riding. This week, we had a group of veterans starting their Phase One of a new course. Many of them had never encountered horses before; some had ridden, but not in the Western […]

  • The Youth Initiative makes us proud.

    Our Youth Initiative course came back to HorseBack this week. It has been one of our great success stories, and we are very proud of all the young people who have made such great strides. The difference we see in our students is immense. Many of them arrive with little confidence and not much enthusiasm. […]

  • The new course gets off to a flying start.

    Sometimes, the stars align and a new course simply takes off. Everything falls into place. This week, that happened. We had a Phase One with an entirely new group of veterans. Most of them had never sat on a horse before, and they did not really know what to expect. By this morning, they were […]

  • A great HorseBack course.

    At HorseBack, we are constantly evaluating what we do and how we do it. One of the most satisfying innovations has been expanding our courses from one week to three weeks. The phases are staggered, so that the participants return to HorseBack over several months to complete the course. We hoped that this might take […]

  • The HorseBack Youth Initiative.

    The HorseBack Youth Initiative is one of the programmes we are most proud of. It started off as a bit of a pipe dream, a lone pilot programme inspired by and developed with Mr Colin Nicholl of Banchory Academy. It has developed into an integral part of HorseBack and now steams on under its own […]

  • Surprise of the week.

    The happiest surprise of the week was: Polly the Cob learned to jump. Regular readers will know that Polly had a painful and traumatic start to life. She still bears the scars. She was rescued by World Horse Welfare, taken to Belwade Farm just up the valley, and then sent to HorseBack. She turned out […]

  • Hats off to our HorseBack mentors.

    It is always a great moment at HorseBack when a plan goes from on paper to real life. It is even more gratifying when that plan turns out to work. This week, there was such a plan and such a moment.   Regular readers will know that this year we initiated our first Mentors’ Programme. […]

  • A veteran’s story.

    Every one of our veterans has a story. Last week, one of them told us his.            When someone suggested he come to HorseBack three years ago, this veteran says, he was deep in the toils of Post-Traumatic Stress, and refusing to accept that brutal fact. He did know, however, that […]

  • Reflections on the new mentoring programme. Or, give a veteran a mission.

    This week, as the first course of the season gets underway, we reflect on our first mentoring programme, which was completed last week. The idea of turning veterans with life-changing injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder into mentors for other veterans facing the same challenges is an old one at HorseBack. If you ask our own […]

  • A mighty group.

    A great day at HorseBack today, as our mentors’ course came to a triumphant end and was crowned with the arrival of Glen Tanar’s head ranger, Eric Baird, to present our mighty group with John Muir awards. Eric gave a very inspiring speech, managing to quote both Churchill and F Scott Fitzgerald. He said that […]

  • HorseBack open day.

    We held a HorseBack open day today, with visitors from Combat Stress, Walking With the Wounded, Forward Assist, Bellrock, the Scottish Association for Mental Health, Scottish Veterans’ Housing, Aberdeen Council, Turning Point Scotland, and Aberdeenshire Salutes. It was really important to us to gather together all these people who help veterans in their different ways, […]

  • Farewell to an old friend.

    We had a very special visitor this week. Andrew Hieghton-Jackson served with the Black Watch, and, whilst on operations in Afghanistan, came into perilously close contact with an IED. He was ‘medically retired’, which sounds like a rather innocuous phrase but can feel like running into a brick wall for those who have devoted themselves […]