Craft Courses > Woodland Courses > HORSE LOGGING COURSE


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Craft Courses : Woodland Courses : HORSE LOGGING COURSE


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Organised by arrangement with you at a time convenient to us both, this course transports you back into a different era and gives you the opportunity to gain as much “hands on experience” of working a heavy horse as possible and is tailor made to your needs. Depending on your requirements and level of experience we can start with the very basics and gradually give you more challenging horse logging work to do as your confidence increases. It is not a requirement for you to have worked with horses before as we will adapt the course to your needs and abilities. We can also teach you how to drive horses and embark upon field work should you require. 

This course is not just suitable for people who wish to pursue the practicalities of heavy horse husbandry or for those wishing to start working their own horses. We have also shared many wonderful course days with people who just wish to take a trip down memory lane. This often makes a wonderful Birthday or Christmas gift. 

Your tutor Ben May has been working in the woods with his horses for over 20 years years now and undertakes commercial horse logging jobs. He also has a farm upon which he does most of his agricultural work with his Shire horses. He is passionate about doing real work with his horses. This is a chance to come and experience one of the very few real working horse farms left in the UK. 

All our horses are trained by us and we are a registered Shire Horse Stud. We usually have a foal and a youngster or two we are bringing on.

No dogs please.

Cost £200 per day including a scrumptious lunch, tea, coffee and cakes! 

plus £50 per additional person including food.

Personalised Gift Vouchers can be included for the Horse Logging/Working Horse Courses; an original and memorable present. 

Dates available by arrangement

 COVID AWARE - During these trying times we are seeking to find ways of ensuring our course participants and guests safely enjoy their time with us. We will need to make adjustments to our courses to accommodate this evolving situation. This will be reviewed as restrictions are eased or limitations are put in place.


To book this course, please email or ring Ben on 01837 811123 to check for availability. Payment can be made by BACS (our BACS details are Bank:  NatWest, Account Name: Forest Crafts, Account No: 12629545, Sort Code: 51-70-16. Please use your name as reference) or good old fashioned cheque (made out to Forest Crafts and sent to Ben May, Lower Upcott Farm, Hatherleigh, Okehampton, Devon EX20 3LN).

We are able to offer Bed and Breakfast accommodation here at the farm.

See our Accomodation listing under the Craft Course Icon.

There is limited availability so please book early.


 Good morning Ben,

 Just a quick mail to thank you ever so much for a terrific day yesterday!  Robyn and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect and really appreciate that you took the time to incorporate our needs (whether we knew them or not) into the instruction.  We had a ball and learned so much.

 Many thanks again, David & Robyn.

 Dear Ben

 It was a great pleasure to meet you both yesterday.  Thank you for an enjoyable and memorable time - I found the experience very absorbing and left feeling as though I achieved a lifelong ambition - and I really appreciated the opportunity to learn from such a patient instructor...  I shall give a great deal of thought to how we could use horses at Coombe Farm and will investigate the French lead with machinery etc to try to decide whether the idea of horses and vineyards makes sense for us.

 Coffee, Lunch and Tea were very welcome and I hope that I managed to walk-off at least some of the calories....!  I had no idea I was going to be so well fed and appreciated your kind hospitality.

 With my best wishes


  Lance Whitehead

 Hi Ben
Please find below something I have written which you can put on your website or wherever. Thank you for a perfect day for dad and I.
Best wishes
When I hesitantly booked a birthday surprise for my Dad 'Heavy Horse Logging' with Ben May on his farm in Devon I couldn't have chosen a more perfect treat. A totally unique experience were his words. 
Being of farming stock ourselves I was pleased to arrive at a humble, down to earth, 'proper' working Devon small holding. In addition just about everthing was rustic and hand crafted by Ben and his wife Larry.  A real genuine feel as opposed to window dressing for the tourist. 

Ben and his wife Larry welcomed us into their home  (no  customary 'course' portacabins  here).  We were thoroughly well fed and watered with Larry's homemade and nutritious cooking;most of which was home grown.
The horses I am pleased to say were equally well cared for, treated as individuals and clearly well loved. This seemed to be rewarded in their equal respect and confidence in Ben who had trained most of them from youngsters.
 The structure of the day was ideal and well planned so as to build confidence. I don't find learning new practical skills easy at all and Ben was able to teach me and I didn't even have a tantrum in the process!  It was even more of a joy to watch my dad chain harrowing with a team of three Shires. Even the weather was perfect for us as we all peeled off yet another Winter layer. The sun was so bright that as the grass shone we could barely see the lines where we had harrowed!
I would well recommend anyone to take this unique opportunity to step back in time for a day, meet some lovely people and work with some fine horses. Worth every penny.

Emma Hurford
Home, Garden & Equestrian Services



Dear Ben and Larry,

 We just wanted to say thank you for the working day yesterday - everyone is talking about it and we all learnt loads.

 Nat and I did some logging with Trelawny this morning and after his initial protests of "I dont like the mud" he worked really well and was starting to get the idea of lining up for a log... he was a very good boy!

 Best Wishes


  Hi Ben, thank you very much for a lovely week with you and your horses and for your patience sharing your knowledge which is very much appreciated. All the best Sean 

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Craft Courses

Our courses take place on the secluded land of Lower Upcott Farm, which is located in 43 acres of some of Devon’s most beautiful unspoilt countryside. The farm is run on a sustainable basis, with both the woodland and pasture land worked by shire horses. We are a proper working enterprise and make a full time living from south west woodlands. We are therefore at the cutting edge of the timber industry and able to offer you up to date knowledge and advice. Our range of courses are designed to cater for the needs of the complete novice through to those with some experience, the emphasis being very much on having a go and enjoying yourself with like-minded people. Practical skills courses are restricted to six people so that everyone gets plenty of individual help.