We started off with one horse on the first part of our journey at Horse Haven Uk. That didn’t feel right as horses are herd animals so we quickly got another.
Now we have six horses, I am sure that is a familiar story for many of you.
It’s been an interesting first part of our journey at Horse Haven Uk and there is much more to come.
We are now busy developing some exciting new plans for 2019 and the future.
The land here is peat so not at all suitable for horses. It gets trashed quickly with galloping hooves and rapidly turns to bog land.
Putting shoes on horses never felt right to us. Our first horse came with shoes and we quickly had them removed. He used to slip a lot on the road surface and often would get a locking stifle. Once the shoes were removed, we didn’t have any problems at all.
Of course, it took a little while to transition to barefoot but that was fine. We were not in a hurry we just wanted him to be sound.
This led us to explore barefoot horses in depth. As a result of our research we came upon track systems for barefoot horses.
This definitely seemed the way forward for us as it made sense and also resolved the problem of having horses on peat.
We built our track over time. This was a long, labour intensive journey requiring us to raise the land.
It took an enormous amount of hardcore and road planings in order to get good drainage. We then topped certain areas with pea gravel and different types of surfaces. We have a lot of trees here so thought it a good idea to incorporate them into the track system.
Over the years our track has grown, as has our herd. The horses seem happy and freely wander around the track looking for goodies that we leave out here and there. We often hang bunches of herbs in the trees and leave willow branches dotted around the track.
It creates movement for the horses as they wander about to forage. The herd seem content and comfortable within their family unit. They have different areas and a watering hole, places they can relax and we open up the arena for them to let off steam and kick up a storm.
The track also serves us well when we run our introduction to driving workshops. People are able to learn to drive a horse and cart in safety without going on the road. Various road signs are set up and obstacles that might be found on the road so it’s a great way to start driving.
For those that wish to go further we offer 3 and 5-day intensive driving courses which involve going out on the road. These are bespoke private lessons for 1 person or a maximum of 2, ideal for couples wishing to embark on driving together.
On the intensive courses you have the opportunity to drive a 2 wheel cart and 4 wheel carriage. Again, we start on the safety of the track in order to gain a level of competence before going on the road.
If you would like to learn to drive a horse and cart go to our workshop page to find out more. We run the taster days regularly from March to October so plenty of dates to choose from.
If you would like to find out how we created our track system go to our store, click downloads and the information is there for you to download.
Looking forward to Springtime and welcoming visitors to our Happy Haven.
Hope to see you here.