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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Our foal is now nearly three weeks old and doing well. Although our initial thoughts for a name were relating to a cute deer, the reality is that she is quite a force of nature and is not the quiet calm foal we initially thought we had.

Her name therefore is Boadicea to be known as Bodi.

We know theses photos are very angelic but don't let her fool you!! ...

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Today is Armed Forces Day. Our thoughts are with all our serving men and women, with all our veterans, and with their families.

At HorseBack, in a most profound sense, every day is Armed Forces Day. ...

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  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]