Following the UK Government advice given on Monday 16 March regarding COVID-19, it is with great regret that we have made the decision to postpone all riding and driving experiences until the end of July. We hope you will agree that it is the right decision to put the safety of our staff and guests first.

Anyone who has booked an experience will be contacted personally regarding their booking.

This is a sad and uncertain time for all of us. However we will try to update you when we can, about life on the farm and when we plan on restarting our riding & driving experiences.

Keep safe and well everyone. x

Are you looking for a great way to spend a day? Or celebrate a special occasion and experience spectacular views of the Lakeland fells? Then why not spend a day with these gentle giants – our heavy horses. It will be a very special ‘hands-on’ experience, one you won’t forget.
At Hands on Heavy Horses, we like to provide a very personal touch. So our riding & carriage driving experience days in the Lake District are tailored to suit your ability. As a small yard we usually work with guests on a one to one basis, but we can accommodate up to three at a time if they have riding experience.
You’ll get to share the day with our heavy horses, care for them and get to know them. In return they will show you the beauty and serenity of the Lakeland fells.
Our heavy horses will look after you, challenge you and leave you with a day full of laughs and lasting memories. With open fells and quiet lanes from our farm gate we are instantly in the countryside. That means your ride or drive starts straight away with beautiful scenery, exploring unspoilt and untrodden paths.
Is this a day for you?
We have four experiences for you to choose from:
The closest you’ll get to owning your own heavy horse for the day.
Best suited if you have riding ability and are confident around horses.
£250 per rider

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

£160 per rider


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

£250 for one driver
Additional driver is £125


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 in the company of one of our heavy horses.

Up to 2 adults & 2 kids £150

Watch this video and imagine heading to the hills with the boys…
To make sure you get the most out of your day with our heavy horses, Debbie will be with you through every stage, to offer guidance and advice and a great riding experience. Debbie is a BHSAI instructor awarded by the British Horse Society. The BHSAI is an internationally recognised coaching qualification. It acknowledges that the holder has the required level of knowledge, skill and coaching ability to provide tuition to riders.
If you are thinking of treating a younger person to a day at Hands on Heavy Horses, please contact us. We can then discuss the child’s previous experience with horses and also their size to ensure suitability. Minimum age is 13
More information about the rides & drives we offer at Hands on Heavy Horses can be found in The Experiences page or you contact Debbie with any question by email.
what do our friends think?
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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.

Whasdyke Life blog

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