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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Today we found a new way of calling down the horses! ...

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Today saw the second and final afternoon of this weeks Phase 2 'Conservation Tasking' with everyone working towards the prestigious and highly sought after John Muir Award.
Unlike yesterday's weather, we were not graced by ray's of sunshine but we were still surrounded by the beauty of Glen Tanar, and regaled of stories of troublesome Capercaillie by the legendary and knowledgable Head Ranger, Eric Baird.
Today our group of veterans showed how camaraderie, espirit de corps and good old fashioned British Military hard work can get the job done, despite in many cases severe injuries and ailments.
In keeping with the ethos of HorseBack UK it was demonstrated that 'there is no such thing as can't' and as our unofficial motto says 'Inveniam Viam Aut Faciam' (We will find a way or make one). Our attendees never cease to amaze with their true grit displaying strength, honour, courage, resilience, integrity and belief. Hence why, each successful Phase 3 attendee on completion of the three phases, receives the renowned HorseBack UK Medal (pictured below) and of course the John Muir Award itself for exactly days like these.
After finishing off yesterday's tree thinning and habitat building, our troops set about clearing the drainage ditch to enable other Glen Tanar Estate users to enjoy the 'Juniper Trail' which tracks had succumb to the recent wet weather. This is a popular route adjacent to the main car park, opposite the Bridge of Tanar and visitor centre. Well done troops, mission accomplished!

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Today the weather let up from the unexpected snow conditions we have been experiencing of late. The sun shone through this afternoon to allow our second Phase 2 course of the year to carry out their 'Conservation Tasking' working towards the prestigious John Muir Award in Glen Tanar Estate . First day of the two day project going extremely well. All watched over and supervised by Eric Baird the Head Ranger, the course worked towards clearing a well known walking route and building habitats for the small mammals that make their home within the beautiful surroundings of the Estate and Cairngorm National Park. Well done troops! ...

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  • 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 […]

  • An exciting new development.

    Part of the founding ethos of HorseBack was the idea of: ‘By the boys, for the boys.’ (And girls too, of course.) From the very beginning, we felt it was vital to get veterans involved in helping each other. This not only restores a sense of purpose and mission, but uses the powerful tool of […]

  • New partnerships.

    One of the most important aspects of our work at HorseBack is creating partnerships with other organisations in the local community and in the charity sector. There has been an increased emphasis on this in the last few months, and we are building some very exciting new connections. In this way, we can broaden the […]

  • Polly the Cob, supermodel.

        Looking back through the photographic archive, we find that on this day last year, Polly the Cob was practising her rug-modelling skills. (Surely Horseware should sign her up at once?) As regular readers will know, Polly was rescued from an early life of pain and neglect by World Horse Welfare. She suffered severe […]

  • HorseBack Youth Initiative

    One of the things that we were most pleased and proud about last year was our Youth Initiative Programme. This was an idea that started with Mr Colin Nicoll of Banchory Academy, and HorseBack took the ball and ran with it. We take young people who are having a variety of problems at school and […]

  • Wendy the Farrier

    There are many people who work behind the scenes to make what we do at HorseBack possible. Quite often, their industry is not seen because the Facebook Operative is not on hand with the camera. So it was particularly pleasing to catch one of our devoted farriers tending to the horses this week. As anyone […]

  • Support for Help for Heroes

    Help for Heroes was one of the earliest contributors to HorseBack. Their support, generosity and encouragement continue to this day. We would not be the organisation we are without them. We have witnessed lives changed and lives saved through the work we do here. There are veterans who have told us, in terms, that they […]

  • Hats off to Anna Haag.

      This may be the greatest fund-raising idea yet. (It may be the best fund-raising idea ever.) Anna Haag is our new heroine. Thank you, Anna.  

  • Peopleton Brook

    Peopleton Brook, as many regular readers will know, is a bit of a poster boy for HorseBack. Many of our veterans see a parallel between his story and theirs. He was a hard-working sprinter, running in almost eighty races, before injury put paid to his career. Sprinters are sometimes hard to rehome, as they are […]

  • A heartfelt HorseBack thank you.

      Twenty-four hours ago, HorseBack UK co-founder Emma Hutchison put out an appeal on our Facebook page for rugs as we faced our seventh straight day of torrential rain, with more to come.   What happened next rather blew our minds.   A hundred thousand people viewed that post, and it was shared over seven […]

  • Storm Frank

    Thank you to everyone who has asked whether HorseBack has survived the drastic floods. Although we are far enough away from the River to be safe from the damage it has caused, we do however take the brunt of the rainfall coming off the hill at the rear of the farm.  Unfortunately the quantity of […]

  • Last Christmas Testimonials

    I have been going to Horseback since the beginning and having horses of my own and knowing how they helped me on my own recovery. I knew how they could help others in similar situations. Very proud to been a small part of the Horseback journey. As part of my ALIVE journey with Veterans In […]

  • HorseBack Criteria

    A lot of people ask what the qualifications are for coming to HorseBack. All you need is to be serving or have served in the British Armed Forces. We do assess whether attendees are at a safe stage in their recovery, but aside from that there is no physical barrier. It does not matter whether […]