Willow Hill Farm preserving the legacy of the Drum horse
‘Born broke’ is the term Natalie Hyatt uses to describe Drum horses.
The owner of Willow Hill Farm in Marietta, SC, Hyatt is spreading the word about these giving and forgiving creatures known as the teddy bears of the horse world.
The only Drum horse breeder in the Upstate, Willow Hill is home to three Drums including RH Valdamar ROM (Val), a 2018 Supreme Champion in national show competition.
A royal connection
Known as the Queen’s Horses, Drums are heavy riding horses used to carry a drummer and two solid silver kettle drums in British parades and special events. Named for the job it performs, the Drum horse is an important member of the Queen of England’s Band of the Life Guards.
A rare breed in America, Galway Warrior was the first Drum horse imported to the United States from the United Kingdom in the 1980s. Willow Hill Farm’s Val is a grandson of Galway Warrior.
While she’s been riding horses since the age of two, Hyatt discovered the Drum horse breed just eight years ago, falling in love with its appearance, versatility and charismatic personality.
“These horses are extremely empathetic, and they have a great work ethic,” Hyatt said. “We want to preserve the Drum horse breed and keep its legacy alive.”
Icing on the cake
Breeding season at Willow Hill Farm runs from February until the end of June, with four pregnancies confirmed from the most recent season. But breeding is the icing on the cake, according to Hyatt. Experiencing and sharing these beautiful creatures is the essence of the farm.
A nine-acre pasture along Dacusville Road in northern Greenville and a long, uphill driveway welcomes visitors to the hilltop farm that offers a bird eye’s view of gorgeous, mountain sunsets.
At 42 total acres, Willow Hill Farm features riding trails and an arena for workouts and lessons. Hyatt and her daughter, Jessica Wright, also began accepting boarders last year.
“It’s a dream to be able to sit, watch and experience these horses,” Hyatt said. “It’s so peaceful and we love to share it with children and families.”
Want to go?
Willow Hill Farm, 319 Dacusville Road, Marietta, SC 29661
For information on visiting, call (864) 991-5644. Follow Willow Hill Farm on Facebook @willowhill.farm.