The Gentle Giants of South Africa

The Gentle Giants of South Africa

Christine Watt, the founder of Outeniqua Moon Ranch in Oudtshoorn, South Africa, is quite a lady. She is not only an author but also heads up a remarkable herd of over 20 Giant Draft Horses, Percherons. Her books and stories are for older children/young teens, telling of the magic of the connection to be found with these beautiful horses, and the stunning illustrations depict the magic of the tales.

Percherons could become extinct and Christine’s books aim to raise awareness of their spirit and kindness that help so many.

I was inspired meeting Christine. She has a vision and anyone can see she adores all her horses. She welcomes all to her location for an overnight stay, retreats, workshops or day trippers, and of course will take you to meet her horses. On top of that she is an amazing cook.

When we discussed a future connection I told her of my vision to bring groups out to various unique locations around the world to spend 7 days simply BEing with horses, experiencing specific special Herds for nourishment of every kind, mental, physical and emotional as well as to find an energetic connection at a deeper inner level. A place to BE, just be and there are no better companions to teach us that than the horses.

Christine wishes to show the world the worth of the heavy draft horses and offer them the recognition they deserve. She continues to breed Percherons and create a sanctuary for other draft horses who have been abused and are without homes. To date they have rescued six Percherons and seven other horses.

The first horse we met was Shadowfax, one of Outeniqua Moon’s homebred colts. The biggest colt ever bred in South Africa. He is 4 years old and stands almost 18.5 hands (187cm). He received us with a calm serenity. The picture above is one I took just before we left, as the clouds were rolling in and the breeze was picking up.

This setting is so peaceful, set upon a hill with a 360-degree view with charming and comfortable rooms and suites to stay in. We strolled around the meadows greeting the whole herd. It was around 40 degrees and so the hosing down at the end was a welcome reprieve for the horses (and us).

Our finale was a foot dip in the pool and cheesecake. It was hard to pull ourselves away. A trip back is a must to stay and savour the setting.

As I took in the scenery I could see groups there. The bonding, time with the horses, relaxing, meditating and grooming. Seeing that change in people’s eyes when they’ve spent time with horses out in nature, the ‘normal’ world nowhere near their mind. That’s the beauty of these magnificent beasts, they transport you to a different world and you literally are no longer the same.

Jo Courtney





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