The Henson, the Baie de Somme Horse in the Somme, north of France
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RidingHenson horsesthrough the country
©Nicolas Bryant

Henson horse-riding

  • 2003The race was officially recognised
  • 200Hensons in Marquenterre
  • 1m50 average height

Henson horses

miniature horses in the Somme Bay

Henson horses are small, sweet and rustic, with a golden coat. There are around 1,200 in France, including 200 in Marquenterre, in the Somme Bay, where the race originated. They first came into existence 30 years ago and were officially recognised in 2003. Henson horses have come to symbolise the ideal of horse-riding, through the wilderness. It's the perfect way to visit the Marquenterre landscape, a 1,000-hectare polder comprising pasture land and dunes, woodlands and inland marshes.

Saint-Quentin-en-Tourmont Espace équestre Henson, Somme©Mathieu Farcy
Saint-Quentin-en-Tourmont espace équestre henson, Somme© Matthieu Farcy
Chevaux sur la plage, Baie de Somme©SMBDSGLP-Altimage
Chevaux henson, Somme©CRTPicardie-Rémi Feuillette
Rue henson, Somme©ADRT80-AW
Saint-Valery-sur-Somme balade à cheval, Somme©Nicolas Bryant

An easy-going nature

ideal for beginners

Henson horses are a cross between Fjord stallions (from Scandinavia) and local mares of various races (Thoroughbreds, Anglo-Arabian and French Saddlebreds). They are small, calm and sociable, ideal for those learning horse-riding. They are also very hardy and can spend the winter outdoors.

Don't miss: the Transhenson in October

A long autumnal journey taking Henson horses from their summer pastures to their winter quarters!

Henson horses are well-known for their performance in horseball and polocrosse: quite the all-rounders!
Rue-henson, Somme©ADRT80-AW
Marais-chevaux henson, Somme©SMBDSGLP-Altimage
Saint-Quentin-en-Tourmont espace équestre henson, Somme©Mathieu Farcy
Saint-Quentin-en-Tourmont-espace équestre henson, Somme©Mathieu Farcy

Would you like to try riding a Henson?

contact the clubs

The Henson horse-riding centres in Saint-Quentin-en-Tourmont, L'étrier in Fort-Mahon, the Henson horse-riding school in Rue and the  Ferme Relais de la baie are all centres specialising in breeding Hensons and Henson horse-riding for tourists.

There are other horse-riding centres with other races to take you through other landscapes!

Let's talk ToCarole Bizet

Ferme Relais de la baie in Ponthoile

"Here in the Somme Bay, people seek authenticity and serenity. You can enjoy warm and friendly meals. I readily share my love of this region. I tell visitors about the nearby Somme Bay, the history of Henson horses, the small golden-coated horses which originated here. I also give hiking tips."