HorseBack Team



Born in Dunfermline Scotland in 1962 Jock’s schooling at Dollar Academy was unremarkable except for his love of horses and a year’s exchange to North Carolina at the age of sixteen, through the Rotary club of Dunfermline. This experience introduced Jock to western riding and working horses which profoundly affected the way he has worked with horses ever since.

After school and a travelling break, Jock joined the Royal Marines as a Commando and a Commissioned Officer. Within the service he deployed all over the world, until being selected to be a helicopter pilot which he then did for The Army, Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

After his military career Jock qualified as a commercial pilot and then went on to set up his own business in developing security strategies for blue chip clients which he ran for the next ten years.

Jock is passionate about mental health and wellbeing and how we can learn about ourselves through working with the horses.  Throughout Covid he was pro-active in working with a team of medical professionals to develop an online wellbeing programme which is now being rolled out to both NHS staff and staff from Care Homes.


CEO and Co-Founder, HorseBack UK

Emma Hutchison has owned and worked with horses from a young age and has competed in dressage, showjumping and eventing. After leaving school, she worked in an eventing and hunt yard whilst studying to become an assistant riding instructor. Following college, extensive travel and working in London, Emma joined Sussex Police as a constable where she served for 6 years.

Twenty years ago Emma discovered western riding and the ethos behind this style of horsemanship. She also developed an interest in how horses can help people learn and subsequently improve aspects about themselves. This led to co-founding the Charity HorseBack UK with her husband Jock and the subsequent work with many different client groups.

Emma was more recently involved in the initiation of the Human Equine Interaction Register which aims to ensure standards within the industry.

As well as delivering the horsemanship side of the courses, Emma is very much involved in all aspects of running the charity including designing the SQA qualification and the strategic growth of the Charity. She is a British Equestrian Federation Level 2 UKCC Coach in Western Riding and is currently working towards her Level 3.

Jay Hare

Course Director

Jay studied engineering before entering the British Forces joining the Royal Marines Commandos. He served for over 14 years and was medically discharged in late 2014 due to life changing injuries.

Jay has deployed on many operations globally and led men in some of the world’s most stressful and hazardous environments, including a tour of Northern Ireland and three tours of Afghanistan. During these tours he was injured twice, once by a suicide bomber and secondly by standing on an IED. Jay lost his left leg below knee, digits to his right hand, suffered extensive shrapnel wounds, lost his left eye and suffered significant facial disfigurement in which it took 11 operations to rebuild his facial features.

Deploying all over the world from desert, jungle, and mountainous areas to arctic regions on numerous occasions, Jay brings a wealth of knowledge of leadership, teaching, coaching and mentoring to any event. He has delivered motivational and inspirational talks to various leading oil and gas companies, charities, VIP’s, events, television, radio, business organisations and universities, as well as instructing and aiding in workshops for many of them all over the country.

Jay holds various certificates and awards in teaching, personal development, sports and recreation, assessing, coaching and mentoring and is also the first and most injured serviceman to conduct offshore oil and gas safety training as well as spending time on a platform in the North Sea.

Jay has worked for HorseBack UK since the beginning, having been seconded initially by the Royal Marines Commandos during his own recovery; he is now the Course Director within the organisation and a Royal Marines Support Network Officer for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.


Course Instructor

Joanne ShEIls

Office MAnager

Joanne has owned and been passionate about horses her entire life. She was brought up in Cornwall and was lucky enough to spend every evening after school riding her horse on the beautiful Cornish beaches. On leaving school she embarked on a round the world trip experiencing life in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Joanne managed the first Navy, Army, Air Force Financial Services Centre in Cornwall for 7 years where she met her husband Damian whilst he was serving in the Royal Navy at RNAS Culdrose. She then went on to become a Pharmaceutical Representative and a Dental Practice Manager before relocating to Scotland with her family in 2010.

She worked for Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership for 5 years before joining the HorseBack UK team where she has re-organised and given some well needed structure to the administrative systems within the Charity.

Duggie Loy

Yard Manager

Duggie has always had a passion for horses along with his family and attributes his love of them with it “being in his blood”. He was raised around horses competing in show jumping and representing Great Britain in the Prince Phillip Cup team for the Pony Club. He then went to teach riding for three years to young novices and aspiring jockey’s before switching to the racing industry himself where he spent over 20yrs working his way up to ‘Head Lad’

He became involved with Horseback UK through the charity Racing Welfare wherein 2017 he first came as a course attendee and subsequently came back as a mentor. Realising that his passion was indeed horses but also working with people young and old alike he applied for the position of Yard Manager and joined the team at HorseBack UK full-time in 2018.

Bec Syme

Course Instructor

Bec Syme was born in Denmark and grew up in Australia.  She has had a love for horses from a very young age. After completing an Agricultural Science degree, Bec found a job overseas on a mixed farming enterprise in Wales. She gained a lot of experience working with cattle, sheep and heavy agricultural vehicle driving for the arable side of the farm.

Bec fell in love with British farming and the countryside lifestyle, but after three years moved back to Australia where she got a job on a 25,000 head of cattle property. All the work was done on horseback, which was ideal and Bec was able to work on her horsemanship and riding skills.

Two years later she still missed the British lifestyle and decided to move back, this time with her Australian Kelpie dog, ‘Bruce’, in tow. Since moving back they have both settled well into the countryside way of life and have also added a horse, Denny, to the family.

One of her favourite things to do is hack Denny into the hills with Bruce running alongside. She also enjoys baking, hill walking, running, sailing and the great outdoors in general.

Bec was told about Horseback UK by an ex-military friend, and started volunteering at the start of 2020. With lockdown putting a stop to this, Bec was excited to accept a position to join the HBUK team at the start of 2022.

With her previous knowledge and experiences of horsemanship and farming, she is a perfect addition to the team aiding in course delivery and training of the horses.

Stuart Bull

Mental Wellbeing

Stuart is an Educational Psychologist who has worked in the North East of Scotland since 1993.

He has studied at the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Strathclyde and worked as a Primary School Teacher in Glasgow before entering the world of Educational Psychology.

Stuart has worked as an Educational Psychologist in several Scottish Local Authorities. From 1993 until 2018 he was Senior Educational Psychologist in South Aberdeenshire. Living locally he was aware of the work of HorseBack UK and in 2019 we were able to welcome him onto the team to offer support to all our course attendees, staff and volunteers.

Stuart is Chartered by the British Psychological society and Regulated by the Health Professional Council.

Sally Anne Hunter

Fundraising Consultant

Sally-Anne is a multi award-winning fundraising and strategy professional and social entrepreneur. She has over 20 years experience providing strategic , funding and fundraising consultancy and operational support to charitable organisations, community interest companies and socially driven enterprises. Her experience covers all fundraising activities and income streams. Her specialist expertise lies in supporting organisations considering growth, scaleup and Capital Appeals.

Ian Wren

Fundraising manager

Ian commenced his employment as Fund Raising Manager in September 2014, however, he has been a volunteer fundraiser for HorseBack UK since the very start. Ian served with the Royal Artillery since the early seventies and completed four years service. Most of his military career was spent in Germany but he completed a tour in Northern Ireland in 1976. Ian was also a member of the Territorial Army for nineteen years, eleven of which was as a Unit Catering Manager for 212 Highland Battery in Arbroath. A keen cyclist he has biked many miles to raise money for HorseBack UK and runs the annual Cairn ‘O’ Mount Challenge in August. Ian appeared on ITV’s Holding Out for a Hero and was extremely successful in winning £98,000 for the charity.

Tania Kindersley

Social Media

Tania was brought up in the Lambourn Valley. Her father, Gay Kindersley, was an amateur rider and then a trainer of National Hunt horses. She went on to read history at Oxford, and then became a full-time writer.

Tania has written six novels and then subsequently published a non-fiction namely ‘Backwards In High Heels’ and is currently working on one fiction and one non-fiction. Tania moved from London to Scotland in 1997 and discovered HorseBack UK in 2012. She is an extremely valued member of the team writing on a daily basis the facebook page and HorseBack UK blog which now has many followers.



Fay has had connection to 45 Commando RM for many years and is friends with many from the Unit and Royal Marines Association. Back in 2010 when the first official week long course was run she volunteered to photograph the attendees. At that same time she was studying for a Higher National Diploma in Photography and subsequently came up to the organisation again in a voluntary capacity to capture further seasons for the charity.

2018 saw the introduction of the Photography element to the course and subsequently Fay has been teaching basic skills to the Phase 1 courses as well as capturing their journey on their Phase 3 ‘Ride Out’. Photography is crucial in evidence gathering for the SQA Lvl 4 in Personal Development in Horsemanship not only for the attendees but also for the charity. Owning her own business Fay enjoys her time with the injured service personnel and veterans passing on her skills and introducing her passion, hobby and livelihood to those that have not had the opportunity thus far.

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We do not rely on government funding so any donations will greatly assist with the running of our charity.