HorseBack UK ‘bagpipe whisperer’ video goes viral

A North-east charity’s video has gone viral after a volunteer entranced a field of horses with bagpipes.

HorseBack UK – which uses horsemanship to inspire recovery and provide a sense of purpose to wounded, injured and sick members of the military community – posted the video of veteran and charity mentor Jocky Johnstone charming the steeds.

Time to bring out the bagpipes and summon the horses. Polly seemed particularly impressed. Thanks as always Jocky Johnstone

Posted by HorseBack UK on Friday, 6 April 2018

The unusual video of the rendition of Scotland the Brave has been viewed more than a million times.

Jock Hutchison, CEO and co-founder of HorseBack UK, who served with 45 Commando in Arbroath, said: “We never know what’s going to catch on.

“For the last 10 years we’ve tried all sorts of things and it’s always the one you don’t expect to catch that seems to work.”

Using bagpipes to herd horses is a strange tactic but one that apparently works as the piper soon captivates the equine group.

The Aboyne-based charity was surprised by its new fame as it frequently posts videos and photos online to its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

It is hoped this unexpected exposure will encourage more people to get involved with the group.

Jock, who spent a decade in the Royal Marines Commandos, said: “We have included many pictures and clips on these platforms but the pipes and the horses seem to have caught the imagination of the public and our hope is we can increase the following we have due to the video.”

HorseBack UK aims to give those injured a chance to regain control of their lives and interact with people again as often isolation affects a lot of those injured.

Jock added: “The reason for the horses is because horsemanship is pure leadership and in learning how to take ownership and become a team with a horse you are beginning to reconnect with the positivity that is often stolen from people when they’ve been hurt badly.”

Horseback UK is currently working with an incentive called We Remember Them to mark the end of World War 1 and formation of the RAF 100 years ago. There is a variety of challenges and events for members of the public to take part in and help raise money.

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