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What better way to explore Atholl Estates than from the back of a Highland pony.
Enjoy a guided trek into the heather-covered hills of Highland Perthshire, travel along forestry tracks and experience a river crossing on the back of a sure-footed Highland Pony. With plenty of opportunities to spot local wildlife, there’s a new sight around every corner. Routes are tailored for experienced, novice and beginner riders so all abilities are welcome.
Open from Saturday 1 April to Saturday 29 July 2017
Closed on Sundays and Mondays
Pre-booking is essential. Call 01796 481568 or [email protected] for more information.
All riders must be aged 12 or over and weigh under 14 stone.
The Atholl herd are traditional Highland ponies, whose bloodlines can be traced back to the 1860s. The ponies were traditionally used to carry culled deer off the hills, a task they still perform to this day during the red deer stalking season (1st July to 15th February). The late 10th Duke of Atholl recognised a need for summer employment for the ponies and established the trekking centre in the 1950s, making it one of the oldest riding establishments in Scotland today.
In order to carry out their deer work, the Atholl ponies are bred carefully, maintaining the herd as true hill-type ponies rather than diluting their traditional Highland qualities to breed lighter, showier ponies. The hill ponies have wonderful even temperaments, are very docile and are often described as ‘bombproof’. Incredibly strong, the ponies can easily carry large stags, and their strength, steady temperament and sure-footedness comes to the fore both out on the hills and when carrying inexperienced riders.
Our herd averages 30 ponies, including foals, and of these around 16 are regularly used for trekking between Easter and late summer when their role on the hill with our deer stalking starts. We currently use 15 ponies regularly on the hill to extract deer to the larder for preparation.