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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Piper and Brook win the Most Adorable Photograph of the Week competition in an easy canter. ...

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The great thing about the winter season at HorseBack is that our Youth Initiative swings into action. This was developed in partnership with Mr Colin Nicoll of Banchory Academy and has gone from strength to strength. It is designed to help young people who are having difficulties at school and the results have exceeded all our expectations. It is one of our favourite courses and we love watching the children grow in confidence.

This group is now four weeks in, and they are really enjoying the work. ...

The great thing about the winter season at HorseBack is that our Youth Initiative swings into action. This was developed in partnership with Mr Colin Nicoll of Banchory Academy and has gone from strength to strength. It is designed to help young people who are having difficulties at school and the results have exceeded all our expectations. It is one of our favourite courses and we love watching the children grow in confidence.

This group is now four weeks in, and they are really enjoying the work.

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The happy Friday face of Polly the Cob.

As some of you know, Polly came to us from Belwade Farm, just up the valley. The brilliant team at World Horse Welfare had rescued her from a life of pain and neglect, and she still bears the scars. She arrived at HorseBack and started her education for a new life and a new job.

At the beginning, you never quite know if a horse will make a course horse. The demands are fairly intense, both physically and mentally, and not all of them are suited to it.

We took a chance on Polly and she rewarded us in spades. She has turned out to be one of the most stalwart of the entire herd, present and correct on every course, and adored by all the veterans who meet her. She is a great character and she makes everyone laugh. It is as if this was the job she had been waiting for.

At HorseBack, we are great believers in second acts. Polly got her second act, and showed what a good horse with a good heart can do, no matter what happened in the dark past. She, like so many of the veterans who pass through our gates, needed someone to have faith in her so she could have faith in herself. And now she holds her head high. ...

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  • A Tremendous Partnership.

    One of the great things about the last year at HorseBack is that we have been extending our reach beyond the veteran community. Our wounded veterans will always be at the heart of everything we do. They were the inspiration behind the charity and remain its guiding force. But it’s been really exciting to see […]

  • 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, […]