Trust is a three way thing in our line of work, and has to be genuine and absolute, between ourselves, the horses and the hawks we work with them.

To try and show this we decided to do something that, as far as we’re aware, no one has done before,and try and work a falcon while having 3 horses out. What made this interesting is falcons are flown to a lure, a piece of padded leather that is spun or held in the air, as a form of simulated bird hunting

Now on an individual basis all the boys do this quite happily, and Philippas little Falcon is as steady as can be around the horses, so in theory it should be simple, but as anyone with horses knows if things go wrong they’ll all play to the worst behaved….

Luckily all our boys had halos on, we tossed a coin and decided Shubatt would be the best to ride, as he is much braver with the reassurance of a rider, Tommy was guaranteed just to put on his “what are they doing now”face, heave a big sigh and do what ever we asked,, and if Caymans hadn’t liked what was going on(very unlikely as he seems to enjoy everything we chuck at him) he would have made straight for the hayladge bale.

The results were amazing, the boys didn’t put a foot wron, little Barny relished the challenge

At one stage he flew between the legs of all 3 horses, but that was the easy bit, flying between two horses Stood next to each other takes a very confident little falcon .

Our good Friend Hazel Mansell Greenwood popped up to capture this on camera for us, and she also got the most amazing sequence of Barny coming between Tommy’s lowered head and his legs, a tiny gap

I think these photos show why recycled racehorses are the most versatile of horses, were very proud of these boys avian and equine, and the trust they all show to allow us to do this

Published by Martin Whitley

Owner and general dogsbody at Dartmoor Hawking and The Recycled Racehorse Falconry Team

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