Even in the 21st Century with all its machinery, heavy horses are still at work. They might not be in full employment like in the good old days – on farms, down the mines, delivering beer – but they’re making a comeback and horse lover Martin Clunes tells us why. The Doc Martin star learns how to plough with an Amish family in Indiana and pulls on waders to go shrimp fishing on horseback in Belgium. All the while, his two-year-old Clydesdales, Ronnie and Bruce, are being trained up at hoof camp in Hampshire so they can work on his Dorset farm. But Martin says they’ve got a long way to go: ‘It’s like having two lovely but slightly naughty teenagers!’
Throughout last year, Martin Clunes made a documentary about the power and versatility of heavy horses. During the making of this program, he did a lot of his research in many different countries, championing working horses in many different areas. Martin and his crew spent many days with members of the British heavy horse world. It is a great documentary – have a look and see what familiar faces you recognise.
Thursday 7th February at 9:00pm on ITV1
Martin champions working horses…