About us


Daily rides

Riding holidays


Find us




TA northwest

Approved by:
Trekking and Riding Society
of Scotland (T.R.S.S.)
British Horse Society (B.H.S.)

tab1b tab2b tab1b tab1b
flagge_grossbritannien flagge_deutschland

Our amazing horses mean the world to us and are part of our family. We specialise in Clydesdale and Shire horses due to their fantastic versatility and unrivalled good nature. We know you will enjoy them as we do..

About Clydesdales und Shires

Grazing Clydesdale - Horse riding in the Lake District

Our Clydesdale and Shire horses are, to us and to many in the equine world, very special animals. Their image as a draught horse is forever etched in the minds of our older generations, yet these old farm hands can equally understand the emphasis we put on their ridden use as the Clydesdale and Shire are both considered rare breeds and, as such, we hope that our work here, encouraging folk to try riding them, will ensure the breed's future is bright!! Our horses are all wonderful, kind personalities, and here I am going to introduce you to their individual characters!

The Clydesdale Horse

Most of our horses are Clydesdales as we, as a business, started life in Scotland, the home of the Clydesdale horse. This wonderful versatile breed originated in the valley of the River Clyde, hence the name!.... The Clydesdale Horse Society, the first breed society, was established in 1877, almost a century and a half after the breed first began to evolve. The primary purpose of the breed was literally as a farm work horse - true horse power prior to mechanisation. From the early days the reputation of the horse grew considerably and the horse fairs held over several days in the Lanarkshire area attracted buyers from far and wide looking for draught horses to fulfill a variety of roles in the haulage field. The major cities of Scotland and the North of England and Northern Ireland housed as many Clydesdales as the agricultural areas did.

Therry & Sparky of Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Horse riding in the Lake District


Early drawings of Clydesdales show a chunky, solid coloured horse, much shorter than todays giants, and close coupled ie short in the back... by the time early black and white photography developed, we see mainly dark coloured horses with dark legs, still short coupled and very powerful.

Gradually white legs became fashionable and the breed as we see it now became more clearly defined.The vast majority of Clydesdales are solid coloured bay or brown with four white legs, the long, silky feathering around the feet being a distinct feature, with soft, not coarse hair.

Max and Tommy - Horse riding in the Lake District

Max und Tommy

The roan colour now commonly seen in the show ring was, for a time, frowned upon by the purists, however is now very popular with almost white horses doing well in show situations!!

Personally I prefer the entire colours with their beautiful white legs and faces, whilst Tim loves the roans.

As with many things in life, fashion hits the showrings too with some judges favouring one, some another "type" of horse, however for us within the ridden world soundness of limb, kindness of character and strength of physical fitness far outweight the colour, hence the ridden use overrides show "colour" popularity and ensures that any good Clydesdale has a sense of purpose in life!!

All the heavy horses were affected after the Second World War as mechanisation, in the form of tractors, appeared, with numbers dwindling until the sixties and seventies. The breed was kept alive by a number of mainly farming folk who had strong sentimental ties to these wonderful horses and happily now numbers have increased although the breed is still classified as 'At Risk' by the Rare Breeds Society. The majority of Clydesdales currently being bred within the UK are for showing, hence the breed has increased in size over the decades.

Major & Tommy - Horse riding in the Lake District

Major und Tommy
relaxing at grass

Beach fun with Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Horse riding in the Lake District

Beach riding on Skye with Tommy, Ben and Charlie

Tommy & Major at Turriff - Horse riding in the Lake District

Tommy and Major at the Turriff Show

However those horses who had eg two black legs and were therefore perceived as "not of show quality" were often sent to the "knackers yard", whereas now, as the value of the Clydesdale increases due mainly to this ridden use, these wonderful horses have a use, a value to us within the normal equestrian leisure market; as the actual monetary value increases the number of horses being bred increases, which therefore increases the numbers generally....just what we want!

There are still many who use the Clydedale for farming (some devotees still farm totally with heavies) and those who are keen on driving for educational or promotional purposes are increasing in number,these folk usually use geldings. Equally in these more eco friendly and environmentally sensitive times, horses are being used again in environmentally fragile areas for extracting timber, however as the foresters develop better machinery, again, the horse is being pushed out of a job...many are paid to be there as a form of historical tourist attraction as they cannot compete against vehicles who can haul huge tonnages out.

Introducing the horses...

Cumbrian Heavy Horses - MacLeod
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Sparky
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Thor
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Fred
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Fly
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Cally
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Warrior
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Solas
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Skye
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Ronnie
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Dingle
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Little Prince
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Duke
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Ollie
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Zac
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Josh
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Bob
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Major
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Ellie
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Miracle
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Orion
Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Jake

MacLeod is a lovely steady lad, born in 2003 he's a big gentle; he's easy going and laid back, yet can, when the moment takes him, have bursts of energy but who enjoys doing - and has perfected! - a very good impression of Eyore which we know is untrue! He is a very cuddly lad, very affectionate and easy to adore; suitable for a range of abilities he is a pleasure to ride, giving people confidence to try different paces, even when novices.

Mac joined us in 2011 (along with Skye) having had a wonderful life with previous owners John and Sue, who, for a variety of good reasons, were able to offer us these gorgeous horses. They regularly pop in to help and keep in touch with their horses.

Sparky is a gorgeous big red roan Clydesdale with a massive trot and bold transitions! He has enormous fluent paces and is in every respect a gentleman. He is an enthusiastic and very brave horse to ride and always near the front on the beach. He is one of our two horses who compete in Endurance GB events with his owner, Therry (see picture). Sparky and Little Prince are currently competing in rides of up to 42km in their fourth Endurance year - they love their outings.

Thor is a Suffolk Punch, which is a very Rare Breed, who joined us in Spring 2013 aged five. He is a stunning chunky young horse who has taken to the work here really well, is fast on beach rides yet steady in the fields, with lovely paces and a great temperament with maybe a touch of attitude! He is a very intelligent beastie! We are delighted to have him here with us.

Fred joined us from a farming home in 2012 aged 5, he had been working as a ploughing horse. He swiftly took to his work here, is an intelligent young horse who has become a fun, fast, forward going young man, with a lovely kind temperament. Seen here with Therry on one of his first rides out!He is now used on all our rides and is suitable for most experience levels. What a pretty horse!

Fly joined us last year from Judith in Ireland, she's a very pretty mare with lots of attitude and a good outlook on life. We have been working with her over the winter and she's now riding out well on all our rides including the beach. A super little mare, 2014 was her first full season with us. Initially used for staff and experienced riders only, she is intelligent so will be enjoying her work and taking many different riders. Seen here on a solo hack with Toby.

Cally is a very beautiful mare, compact, pretty and full of life! She is often used for more experienced riders and as a Ride Leader horse as she is forward going with a very willing attitude (and is good at gates!).

She is without a doubt one of the fastest horses on the beach and is very surefooted on the fell - she likes to look carefully at the ground in front of her and plan her route accordingly. She is very affectionate and sweet on the ground and is always looking for a quick cuddle. Much loved by all who ride her, Cally is owned by Imogen (in the photo!) who plans to enjoy and ride Cally over our “quiet season” of late autumn, winter and spring whilst we remain fortunate to still have her here in the summer. Cally really does have the best of both worlds.

Warrior is a stunning lad, he's 4 years old and joined us from Germany this spring for training. He is owned by Marc Minkowski who also owns Max who used to live here and now lives in France! Warrior has responded well to training, and is now riding out quietly, at walk and trot. Having been shown extensively previously (he was Champion In Hand 2 yr old Gelding at this show) he is well handled and enjoying learning the ropes. A gorgeous boy!

Solas joined us in autumn, he is a stunning big black 17.3hh Shire, with lovely paces. He is 6 years old. He is owned by Rochelle who enjoys riding him from time to time. We love his bouncy enthusiastic paces and love of life. Once we'd worked on his fear of water he has become an excellent beach horse, loving the faster speeds and paddling in the sea. He has a fair turn of speed!! A joy to ride.

Skye joined us in 2011 (along with her friend MacLeod) as a very green five year old. She has matured into a fantastic young horse suitable for a variety of experience levels, and is a firm favourite on our Holiday Rides! She's a friendly lovable girl! In this lovely photo she's with Diane who enjoyed her on our "off season loan" scheme.


Ronnie joined us here at Cumbrian Heavy Horses last summer, he was a working Stallion for some years but had been ridden during that time. Having had a stallion here before, we were aware of Work and Safety considerations, and had made the decision not to have another so, sadly, he was gelded prior to arrival (yes, ouch!!). He is a lovely mover, a good show and ridden horse with a sweet, kind, personality. He is mischievous, always looking for things to do! He is suitable for a variety of riders, due to his gentle nature! He is pictured at the Westmorland Show in 2013 with Holly riding him - what a gorgeous lad!

Dingle, the enormous Ardennes horse may not be our tallest but he is certainly the heaviest weighing in at a whopping 950kg! Despite his size he is a forward-going well-schooled ride who is surprisingly light on his feet. Dingle is arguably one of the most intelligent horses on the yard so if you are riding him be aware! He is utterly hilarious, but very kind and a real character! He also eats zips and is quick to rummage thru your coat pockets for any treats you may have!


Little Prince, better known as LP or ‘funny  face’, is Annie’s baby, he’s one of Cumbrian Heavy Horses competing Endurance Horses (Registered with Endurance GB) who competes alongside Sparky at National events up to 42km. Annie hopes to try a 65km event on him before he get too old! One of the fastest horses on the yard and a natural sprinter, LP is a very lively little horse and is a staff-only ride because of his extreme sensitivity to the aids. He is a fine example of why these beautiful horses should have a future as ridden horses.

Duke is a very beautiful red roan Clydesdale, one of three horses who joined us here from Tommy MacAleese, who is based in Northern Ireland, in autumn of 2010 (pictured with Tommy). He has taken to work here very well, and seems to thoroughly enjoy himself out on rides, is an enthusiastic and bold young horse taking everything in his stride. He is one of a handful of heavy horses here who are on long term livery, now owned by Lynne. He has recently started attending Pleasure Rides which he loves, he is a fun horse to ride!

Ollie is almost the biggest horse on the yard, and due to his head size, height and occasional tendency to walk like a giraffe he is often known affectionately as the ‘Gamoose’ (a cross between a giraffe and a moose). A beautiful roan colour with a relaxed attitude to life he is an easy going horse who is a pleasure to ride, suitable for most folk, a great confidence giver.


Zac is one of our steadier horses with the easy-going laid back attitude of a much older, more experienced horse. He can be a complete beginners horse or an exciting horse for an experienced rider looking for a horse who can manage novice dressage and gallop with the lead horses on the beach. He doesn’t panic in any situation and has the slowest most relaxing canter and gallop on the yard, until you push him!

Josh is a large and very gentle Clydesdale who joined us in 2012 (having been owned and much loved by previous owner Lizzie for 8 years). He has made the transition from "riding school" horse to "hacking out" horse seamlessly, and is very happy here. He is a big gentle lad who loves cuddles and just loves to please! He has made friends and is easy to love! A very kind horse suitable for a variety of riders.

Bob joined us in 2013 as a four year old and is proving to be a lovely young horse to work with, he wants to learn and is keen to do things, and develop as a ridden horse. He is now a superb all round riding horse, great fun! He rides kindly for a variety of experience levels, if you're lucky you might get to ride him! We think he's great fun!

Major, a handsome young horse has joined us last year! We have been working with him all winter and now, 2014, he is riding out really well. He is from our friend Tommy MacAleese in Ireland who handles these big horses so well. Currently he's riding out under saddle at all paces, loads well, and is enjoying his life as a ridden horse! Although young he is gentle and suitable for a variety of experience levels!

Ellie is a pretty mare, she has been here at Cumbrian heavy horses for several seasons now; she is owned by Becca Morris-Eyton who enjoys long reining and driving her as well as riding her. Ellie is excellent on all of our rides and can be quite lively, having hunted in the past, as she is full of life, although when in full work in summer she is a gentle and quiet mare suitable for any level of experience rider. A super girl!

Miracle (otherwise known as Miri) is a gorgeous big girl with loads of attitude and a forward going outlook on life. She is great to ride, suitable for most abilities of rider, with amazing paces and fluency, being shown under saddle at dressage here in Cumbria and at the National Show. She is seen here in this super photo on our "seahorse" shoot which we did with Simon Palmer, Photographer. She was nine this summer (2014).

Orion, known fondly as BamBam, is Emma's son (she now lives with friends Mike and Ena Wood) - he was a massive foal and is already a very big horse. BB joined the team fully in summer 2013. He is an easy going big lad who appears to be taking everything in his gangly teenage stride! He is enjoying all the rides here and loves the beach! He is excitable at times but is a fun loving happy (and quite speedy!) individual! In steady summer work he is suitable for most experience levels. Seen here on the beach in July 2013!!

Jake joined us as an unhandled stallion in the winter of 2011 as a rescue horse. After being on the yard for a few weeks - working extensively with him to build a partnership - the decision was made to have Jake gelded as he was very nervous of humans; we knew if his hormones calmed down we would be able to help him! Jake has now become an easy going lad with a sweet disposition, a fabulous riding horse, worth all the effort! Suitable for a variety of experience levels he is often on our Holiday Rides and is excellent on the beach and the fells.


 (c) 2004-2015 Cumbrian Heavy Horses

Call +44 1229 777764 or mail annie@cumbrianheavyhorses.com - open all year 7 days a week!


NEW! Ride Dates for 2020:
While we are preparing the
re-launch of our website, please visit us on Facebook for all the latest news and riding dates! Thank you very much!