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Horsepower in the Forest: the story…
‘PaardenKracht in het BosLandschap’ (Horsepower in the Forest) is a project by the social economy company De Winning. The goal is to maintain the draught horse breed and the related craft, while simultaneously creating employment opportunities. The working draught horse creates opportunities for people with occupational disabilities. When these people complete tasks in cooperation with this calm-tempered horse, it gives them satisfaction and enough confidence to progress in their search for suitable employment.
Stijn Pollaris: “Because working with draught horses isn’t as profitable as it used to be, we at De Winning went in search of resources to support this project. One of these resources was to develop our own regional beer. After an intense process of meetings, trials, and tastings, we marketed the first 7PK in 2013. A blond, bitter, powerful beer that tells the story and expresses the passion of this project and De Winning”
The first brews sold out quickly due to the unique flavour and the powerful story behind Horsepower in the Forest. Approximately 350 hectolitres are bottled currently and 7PK is available internationally. The beer is brewed by the Anders Brewery, with the one condition being quality. Otherwise, anything goes!
Gert Poelmans: “The draught horses that started this whole journey have proven their worth within the company and support the teams in many ways. They don’t just help with the work; they also provide therapeutic assistance. The social economy, nature, and horses appear to be the powerhouse combo that benefits everyone. Our draught horses are once again being actively utilised and are creating an incredibly unique working environment. It’s a win-win situation for people, animals, and nature.”
7PK provides Horsepower in the Forest with financial support, which is proof of our passion for social entrepreneurship
We have developed several activities within the ‘Horsepower in the Forest’ project:
Forest and nature management
Since 2011, De Winning has been using draught horses for forestry because this is an ecological and public-friendly method of forest management. Horses are very useful on sites that are difficult to access and where the soil and stands must be preserved. Thanks to all the ways in which they can be utilised and the reduced pressure on the soil, the soil remains undisturbed and soil compression is prevented.
When you climb into a covered wagon, you’re taken back to a time when things were a lot slower. The cadence of the sturdy draught horses determines the rhythm. De Winning has seven covered wagon rides through the Limburg countryside, available with a picnic full of regional products. During the wagon rides, a guide will tell you all about the flora and fauna you see along the way and about the cultural and historical heritage of the region.
Horsepower adds lustre to your events, with demonstrations, wagon rides, and shows. Powered by our team of three horses, you’ll surf across the meadow standing or sitting on a special carpet. Spectacular and safe! It’s guaranteed to keep people talking for years to come. The flying carpet will undoubtedly whet their appetites!
Become more efficient at work and/or improve team performance. A professional methodology on natural leadership coached by experts in combination with draught horses. A unique combination with a powerful result.
Customised sessions where the draught horse acts as a mirror. Rejuvenate your self-confidence!