Runs all year | typically 10am – 2:30pm
£160 per rider
The ‘Half Day Riding Experience’ is best suited for riders who might find a full day just too exhausting or for rides during off season when there’s less daylight. This day runs for 4 hours. Here the focus is on you and getting to know your horse. With that in mind there is a ‘coffee & cake break’ but we skip lunch so that you can spend as much time with your horse as possible.
Your ‘Day’ includes: 
  • Grooming
  • Tacking up
  • The ride
  • Coffee & cake break
  • Untack & wash down
  • Tack cleaning
On a Half Day Riding Experience, we can welcome up to 3 experienced riders. If you have little or no experience of riding then it’s best that bookings are made for single riders, that way we can ensure that you get one to one attention from Debbie and thus maximise your day with our horses.
Every Hands on Heavy Horses Experience is bespoke – specially created to get the most out of you as a rider. So the first thing to do is get in contact with Debbie to discuss your riding skills and find a suitable date.
You can contact her:
click on the images below to learn a bit more about your ‘Day’
with Hands on Heavy Horses.
what to bring
We will provide a Ploughman’s Lunch and an afternoon scone with cream, however if you don’t fancy that or you have dietary requirements we won’t be remotely offended if you bring your own lunch – just let us know.
Four seasons in one day sums up the British weather so I’d start with a T-shirt and layer up with a fleece, padded jacket and light weight water proof jacket and trousers.
If you own jodhpurs these will always be best for comfort but thick leggings are a good alternative, avoid jeans, chinos or any trouser with seams on the inner leg. Ouch chaffing!
Either ankle or knee length riding boots are fine but if you don’t have these a stout walking boot or steel toe capped yard boot all do the job.
Avoid boots with very wide soles, like a cowboy boot, as they may not fit in the stirrup, or worse get stuck.
Wellingtons can be worn on the yard but tend to nip behind the knee when riding so I’d suggest bringing another boot to ride in.
Your own hat is always recommended, we do have a selection of approved hats to borrow but can’t guarantee we will have your size!
Gloves of some description are needed to avoid blisters as reins rub if a horse drops his head to graze. If you don’t have riding gloves we’d suggest leather or walking gloves but avoid materials like wool. We have some spare to borrow but can’t guarantee we’ll have your size.
Other Recommendations
Bottled water is probably a good idea, you won’t die of thirst with us but on hot days you may want to have your own supply.
Mozzy repellant, in these days of health and safety it’s not advised that we provide insect spray in case you are allergic to any ingredients, so I do advise you bring you own. It’s more the horse flies you need to avoid so come armed in the height of summer  June, July and early August).
A change of clothes, despite all of our preparations sometimes the weather can just catch you out, so best bring some dry clothes you can change into so you don’t get cold.
Pockets! If you can, make sure you have pockets that you can comfortably and securely put anything in that you want to take with you on the ride… like your phone.
We will have lots of opportunities to capture your memories of the day, so either bring a camera or your mobile, if your phone is compatible with ours we can share our shots onto your phone too, if not we can email them onto you at the end of the day.

here’s a reminder of the experiences we offer
full day riding 200px

The closest you’ll get to owning your own horse for the day.
Best suited if you have riding ability and are confident around horses.

£250 per rider

half day riding 200px

Best suited for riders who might find a full day just too exhausting or for rides during off season when there’s less daylight.

£160 per rider

full day driving 200px

Perfect for horse driving beginners, experience the Lakeland fells in a unique and relaxing way.

£250 for one driver
Additional driver is £125

just along for the ride 200px

The choice for guests who don’t want to drive, but relax and take a ‘back-seat’ whilst enjoying magnificent views of the Lake District.

Up to 2 adults & 2 kids £150

what do our friends think?
alex 500px

I’m a true heavy horse convert! I’ve always loved horses so was absolutely thrilled when Debbie offered to take me riding on her gentle giants. I was a novice and can honestly say I have never felt more at ease, comfortable and in such safe hands as when I am riding Ferdy, Otto and Paddy. They are truly magnificent animals, each with their own distinctive characters yet all absolutely charming and a joy to ride, groom and get to know. My daughters, both complete beginners, have also ridden Ferdy and fallen in love with his gentle and trustworthy nature.


I myself have been fortunate enough to have been riding with Debbie for over a year now and fully appreciate the fantastic facilities her and John have to offer. You cannot wish for a more welcoming and breath taking riding experience set in an idyllic picturesque rural farm setting in the heart of the Lake District. I cannot recommend the experience enough and am now a true heavy horse enthusiast!


A day spent with Debbie and her gentle giants at Whasdyke Farm is a huge treat. From the grooming right through to the tack cleaning, the whole experience is a great escape from the day to day. Of course enjoying the Lakeland Fells on the back of a gentle but responsive Clydesdale is the best bit of all. Not only is Deb an excellent riding teacher if instruction is what you’re after, but it is impossible to worry on horseback and in such surroundings!


Thanks for my wonderful heavy horse experience today! I felt very safe and confident throughout with you and Ferdy. And I’m proud of myself too! Such an achievement, especially as you didn’t just keep me on the straight and narrow. Goes to show we are never too old or unfit to do something new and adventurous! And those gorgeous views and woodland made the ride very enjoyable as well as exhilarating.


Such a unique and memorable experience! – I first visited Whasdyke in summer 2016 and thoroughly enjoyed the fell ride, I can honestly say I have never seen views quite like it, they were simply breath taking and have to be seen to be believed! I rode a gorgeous bay gelding called Paddy who was so much fun -forward going but sensible – I felt very safe on him! The horses at Whasdyke are lovely and friendly, all with there own individual personalities! Debbie is great, so friendly and professional with a wealth of knowledge on horses and also the local area! I would definitely recommend a visit to Whasdyke to any one who is looking for an amazing ‘horsey’ experience within a beautiful setting!


Amazing, loved every minute. This is unlike any other ride I’ve ever done, the horses and the setting create something very special that will stay with me for a very long time. The views are stunning, the lanes are tiny, there’s not a well trodden path in sight, just proper unspoilt countryside for the entire ride and Debbie gave me the confidence to enjoy every moment of this unforgettable experience.

Thanks to Debbie for sharing her amazing boys. I’ve fallen in love with the adorable Ferdy, he’s a real gentle giant and it was lovely to spend time with him. I’ll be back to see him soon with plenty of carrots! Whasdyke really is a very special place.


I recently had the opportunity to go out riding on Ferdy (one of The Boys). I had not ridden for 20 years at least and all I can say is “What a gentleman”! From the start to finish I had the best fun in the most idyllic Lake District setting you could imagine with views straight out over Windermere and the Langdale Fells beyond, it was a truly breathtaking experience and a perfect way to find my riding legs again. Thank you Debbie.


I recently went to Whasdyke farm. I was wary, now I am wise. Sam and Ferdy are gentle giants who calmly and regally took me to all their special haunts. I felt like queen of the fells for a day.