Category Archives: Horse Holidays

Everything you need to know about bringing your horse on holiday

Hoe Grange is a popular destination for those who want to bring their horse on holiday. Our stunning Peak District countryside is undulating and interesting to ride through. Trekking along you always want to discover what lies over the next hill or round the next bend.

You can stay in a cosy log cabin, a gorgeous glamping pod or even a vintage gypsy caravan – the choice is yours!

bring your horse on holiday

Riding holidays are a fabulous way of exploring the area, it’s amazing what you can see from the back of horse that you might miss when walking on foot or in a car.

10 reasons why bringing your horse to Hoe Grange is so popular!

  1. On arrival the tarmac  farmyard is large and ideal for unloading and there is plenty of space for manoeuvring. There’s no need to worry about reversing your trailer or parking your horse box.
  2. All 6 stables are sturdy and spacious with plenty of room for larger horses and are disinfected ready for your use.
  3. The farm is in a peaceful location and horses who arrive on holiday quickly settle in the grazing paddocks. There are two paddocks which can be split up into smaller areas with electric tape if you need to separate horses from one another.
  4. Your horse will love munching on our Hoe Grange hay – our meadows are sustainably managed and the grass is sweet.
  5. Tally ho! There is plenty of scope for a good gallop across the farm fields!
  6. As riders ourselves we know all the best riding routes and can help you make the most of your horsey holiday. We have some amazing off-road trails and bridleways. Unsurprisingly the most popular ride is over the hill to the pub for a pint!
  7. BHS Weclome HorsesHoe Grange Holidays is accredited with the British Horse Society Horses Welcome Scheme, which means you can book with confidence knowing that your horse will have 5 star accommodation! Also we only take one group of horses at a time which is better for infection control.
  8. After a long days riding you can relax back on the decking and watch your horses and ponies at play in the paddock – a real treat especially if your horse is at livery and not kept at home.
  9. FirepitHoe Grange is a great place for groups and we offer extra experiences for you all to enjoy. What better way to spend the evening than toasting marshmallows round the fire-pit, relaxing in the log-fired hot tub under the stars, or creating and cooking your own pizzas in the outdoor pizza oven?
  10. local produce delivered to your glamping podIf you want to self-cater you can order #LoveLocal Peak District groceries to be delivered to your log cabin or glamping pod ready for your arrival. Or if you fancy a complete break from the kitchen we know the best places to eat out. We can recommend some amazing local pubs – we’ve made it our mission to try them all out especially for you – it’s a hard life!

There are many more reasons to choose Hoe Grange Holidays if you want to bring your horse on holiday. If like Oliver and I you have joined the Your Horse #hack1000miles challenge you will definitely have the opportunity to clock up some extra miles during your holiday in the Derbyshire hills.

The Peak District is also quite hilly so your horse should go home really fit.

If you want to know more watch our video of Frequently Asked Questions on bringing your horse on holiday or contact us via email info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk

Happy Hacking!

Felicity 

 

All is safely gathered in!!

Make hay while the sun shines,

It may have been Sunday afternoon, but that means nothing if there is hay to move!

Unloading hay bales
Made in the Peak District, a lovely crop of hay.

We were luck to snatch a good crop of hay in the few fine days this week to top up the barn ready for our equine guests this winter, It smells really nice, so why not book in to bring your horse on a holiday knowing he’ll have plenty to eat.

The whole family, even Felicity, gets roped in to such jobs but is soon found sitting down having a little rest!!

IMG_3770Any one short of hay for the winter, I could be persuaded to sell a few bales!!

 

David

Hunting the “clean boot”

Sunday was a clear dry day for the 4 Shires Bloodhounds meet here at Hoe Grange in the spectacular Peak District countryside.

4 Shires BloodhoundsWe often have horses staying on holiday, but thankfully not quite so many at one time – it was a little chaotic in our yard as everyone was saddling up ready for the off and slurping the port.

the runner is chased by bloodhounds
The “quarry” getting his final instructions

Hunting the clean boot refers to the hounds working the natural scent of a human runner over a 12 to 20 mile course. This differs from a drag hunt where a very strong scent is laid which often means the hounds tend to race along at great speed. When following a human scent the hounds have to work the scent to distinguish it from other smells and are therefore slower. Once they get the scent they start singing – it’s an amazing sound to hear them in full cry.

The other advantage is that because the route is preplanned the hunt can avoid livestock, newly seeded fields or crops and the runner can adapt the route if he spots any unforeseen dangers.

The Four Shires Bloodhound Hunt covers the shires of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire. It attracts riders of all abilities and ages and there is a second field for novices and less confident riders who prefer to take the course gently or avoid the jumps.

Bloodhound howling
Waiting for the off – when can we get going!

It really is a magnificent sight to watch with the horses, beautifully turned out, galloping across the farm after these large Bloodhounds in full cry as they pick up the scent of the human quarry. This year they brought out 17 couples (34 hounds) so as you can imagine The Master Huntsman, Chris Kane, had his hands full trying to keep them all in order!

The runner covered in mud
Not so clean boots now!

The hounds are bred for their agility, stamina and their “nose” and the term Bloodhound refers to their bloodlines not their taste for blood! When the hounds catch up with the runner he suffers nothing more than a few licks! However his boots are far from clean at the end of the day!

With our hilly terrain and a route of 15 miles or so  the runner has to be extremely fit to dash up such steep hills and down dales to avoid getting caught by the hounds in hot pursuit – no boring trips to the gym needed for him!

4 Shires Bloodhounds return home
All safely back home

A good day was had by all and you can see more photos on our Facebook page.

Felicity

10 years and we are going to the dogs!

It doesn’t seem like it, but in a few weeks time it will be 10 years since we welcomed our first ever guests. I can well remember two very nervous hosts showing in our first visitors  Mr and Mrs Clews and their friends Mr and Mrs Fox, who brought 2 horses with them.

A couple of weeks later we welcomed Mr and Mrs Fosby, who was a our first wheelchair using guest. Little did we know how large a part both of these type of guests would play in shaping the business we have today.

We have met some extraordinary people over the past 10 years, many who have become good friends and appear at astonishingly regular intervals. Our most regular guests being Neville, Val, Bob and Thelma who have been nearly 30 times and have another 3 holidays booked for 2016!

lambs cowAnimals have played a huge part in our success. Our dogs, Twix, Crunchie and Fudge get more mentions in the guest book than we do, also the horses, chickens, sheep and even the odd (very odd!) calf “Austin”.

 

 

We have welcomed 100’s of horses over the years, and even a cat or two, but what has impressed us the most are the fantastic assistance dogs we see on a regular basis. These superbly trained dogs make difficult lives that little bit better, and at the same time provide comfort and companionship like no other!

We want to celebrate our 10 years by doing something special, so we have decided to  raise enough money to buy and train a Canine Partners assistance puppy! Our target is £5000 over the next 12 months and we have some exciting plans to make this happen.

I think you may meet this little fella at one of our events
I think you may meet this little fella at one of our events!

When booking online you can choose to donate £5 or more by selecting the drop down menu and there are collecting tins in the cabins for your loose change.

We took part in a photo shoot for a charity calendar in association with Molten Rock the manufacturers of the magnificent  Boma 7 off-road wheelchair with 1/12th of the proceeds going to our fund. Order your copy here!

In February we are holding a charity cinema evening showing my favorite film “Hot  fuzz” where guests will dress appropriately and join in with the film, we will of course be selling Cornettos that night!

On Friday 11th March we have an open day from 11am to 3pm to celebrate Disabled Access Day – come and join us for a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

On Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th April we have invited owners of Boma 7’s from across the country to get together for a fun off-road challenge across our farm fields, followed by an afternoon coutnryside walk/Boma trek.

On Friday May 6th our neighbour, super star Vicki Lambert, has kindly agreed to sing for her supper as Dusty Springfield – she has an amazing voice and I guarantee she will make it a fun evening and get you all dancing and singing along.

For the more active in July we will be hosting a cream tea walk for the Erewash Ramblers and there will be a reindeer walk nearer Christmas. Who knows what else we will get up to?

We would love for you all to be involved with as many of the activities as possible and help us to achieve our target, and help change someone’s life. Maybe you would benefit from an assistance dog? Find out what a Canine Partners assistance dog could do for you and how to apply.

We will be keeping you up to date with our progress here on the blog and on our Facebook page – watch this space!

David

Canine Partners

#Farm24

On the 20th August 2015 hundreds of British farmers recorded their day with video and photographs to help the general public understand how wide and varied the work of a British farmer is.

What were we up to at Hoe Grange that day?

Take a look at our #farm24 and see!


Checking all are present and correct……


and all are with their mummies….


even if their mummies are not really their mummies.


Time then for a little tractor work, mowing off the overgrown grass so fresh grass can grow in its place.

Keep calm and canter onNot forgetting to look after our guests as well, pointing out the best rides.

See the nationwide effort of our dedicated farmers recorded for #farm24 through The Farmers Guardian. Alternatively, find out more about our very own Peak District farm here.

David

How to catch the quarry!

4 Shires Bloodhounds
Bloodhounds ready for the off

Sunday was a fabulous clear day with plenty of sunshine for the 4 Shires Bloodhounds meet here at Hoe Grange in the spectacular Peak District countryside.

We often have horses staying on holiday, but thankfully not quite so many at one time – it was a little chaotic in our yard as everyone was saddling up ready for the off and slurping the port.

It really is a magnificent sight to watch with the horses, beautifully turned out, galloping across the farm after these large Bloodhounds in full cry as they pick up the scent of the human quarry.

Bloodhound
keen & waiting for the signal from the huntsman

Hunting with Bloodhounds is known as hunting the clean boot. Unlike a drag hunt which uses a pre-laid scent the Bloodhounds work the scent of a human quarry or runner over the fields. Bloodhound refers to the bloodlines not their taste for blood, so fortunately when the hounds find the runner he is more likely to be licked than savaged by these friendly dogs !

With our hilly terrain and a route of 15 or so miles the runner has to be extremely fit to dash up such steep hills and down dales to avoid getting caught by the hounds in hot pursuit – no boring trips to the gym needed for him!

Judging by the amount of mud splattered over both riders and horses on their return to our yard a good day was had by all!

More photos on our Facebook page.

Felicity

Bloodhounds setting off
Setting off from Hoe Grange yard

galloping horses
Tally Ho and off into the distance

D of E on Horseback

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a fabulous scheme providing young people with the chance to develop skills for work and life, fulfil their potential and have a brighter future. It is widely renowned by employers and universities alike as it’s balanced programme develops the whole person – mind, body and soul, in an environment of social interaction and team working.

The  Youngsters achieve a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award by completing a personal programme of activities in sections, including: Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Expedition and for Gold, a Residential.

Two of our children have successfully completed awards, so it was wonderful to be able to give a little something back by hosting a group who were doing their Silver expedition on horseback, which is quite unusual. The group had originally booked to come earlier in the summer, but the trip was postponed due to guess what? Yes, you guessed right, torrential rain!


Fun and frolics in the paddock

You can see by the smiles on the girl’s faces that they were having an amazing adventure and masses of fun on their trek across the Derbyshire countryside.

Doing their expedition on horseback added many challenges, including greater organisation; not only did the girls have to think about thier own needs, accommodation and food, but also the needs and additional equipment for their four legged friends. They also had to think about contact details for local vets and farriers in case one of the ponies lost a shoe or became lame.

The ponies were not at all worried by our new wind turbine and were able to chill out in the paddock overnight, whilst the girls pitched their tents close by. For one of the girls the highlight of their sleepover at Hoe Grange was the use of a real flushing toilet rather than the usual portaloo!


Setting off from Hoe Grange

Setting off up the hill for a second days long trek are, Annie with Nook, Emily with Matty, Lara with Misty and Ellie with Star. Fortunately the sun shone and the expedition went according to plan with another overnight stop at Arbor Low.

Thanks to assessors Steve and Kathryn Bull of Bull Precision Expeditions for liaising with us and we wish the girls good luck for completing their Duke of Edinburgh Silver Awards.

If you’d like to bring your horse on holiday, then take a look at our range of accommodation available.

Felicity

Wind power is making the tea

Our Evoco wind Turbine is now up and running, as I speak it is boiling the kettle, running the computer and lighting up our lives!

Wind power
Wind power

After leaving our foundations to cure for a few weeks the tower was erected last week, then ironically we had to wait for the wind to die down before completing the installation. On Tuesday, Leigh and Ed from Loyran Renewable Engineering came and raised the tower and switched the beast on. Within seconds the power was flooding in, and today the blades have been whirring round reaching maximum speed at times.

We were a little concerned what our own horses, and other visiting horses would make of such a scary thing close to their paddock, but we need not have worried, after looking up to see where the new sound was coming from they all went back to quietly grazing. Even some of the more highly strung horses that are currently here on holiday took scarcly any notice.

We are hoping to produce an average of 80 – 100 kwh of power a day along with the solar tracker, so we should’t be drawing much electricity from the National Grid at all. In fact we will be supplying our excess to the rest of you, so we might even be boiling your kettle for you!

David

Going UP!
Going UP!

UP

Standing Tall
Standing Tall

Today’s News

The old expression goes that today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapper, we certainly hope that with the advent of the web this is no longer the case !

The reason? well quite unexpectedly we were featured in The Guardian newspaper today. Our resident artist, Roger Allen,  was exhibiting his paintings at Ilam Hall and during a lull in visitors he stumbled across a fabulous review of Hoe Grange Holidays in the Travel section.

Our accessible holidays are mentioned in the Guardians Readers’ Tips by one of our past guests! It was a wonderful surprise to get a mention for our accessible, eco-friendly log cabins and in such glowing terms, we couldn’t have written a better review ourselves! A pat on the back every now and then makes all our hard work worthwhile and is much appreciated, it gives you a warm glow.

However this is not our only claim to fame – recently we also starred on TV on the This Morning programme as part of a feature on Best of British holidays; Eamonn Holmes was keen to come and stay, but hadn’t got a horse to bring with him!

We hope this inspires more people to choose Hoe Grange for their holidays and visit the fantastic Peak District.

We look forward to welcoming new guests.

Felicity

A race against time!

The saying goes “make hay while the sun shines”.

Well this year it has been extremely challenging and difficult to achieve, as you need a full week of hot sunshine! We make hay for our own animals and also for our guests who bring their own horses on holiday.


Bale carting in the top meadows

Here in the Derbyshire hills the grass was ready to mow several weeks ago but we have had to wait for the rain to cease long enough for us to dry the grass in the sunshine. It was touch and go as the grass was beginning to rot in the bottom.

Well this week there was a gap in the weather forecast so we went ahead and cut the grass on Tuesday and David spent the next 3 days tedding it. Tedding is a good old fashioned word for turning and spreading the hay out to ensure it is dry enough to bale so that is doesn’t go mouldy.


Which way is the wind blowing – will we get wet?

The sunshine lasted long enough for the hay to mature and our contractor was able to come and bale the hay last night and this morning. The crop was thicker than we thought and we got over 1,200 bales, which all had to be stacked on the trailers by hand – who needs to go to the gym!

Unfortunately whilst we made the hay while the sun shone the weather did defeat us in the end as it started raining while we were carting the bales in from the fields!

Felicity


Here comes the rain again!