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Your Horse 442 september 2018




Love to load

Train your horse to go

in the box every time




for people with a passion for horses


trust in

your horse

How to get going

again after a setback




made easy


The new feed

range that

could save £s



Three ways to

set off positively

Ride the

perfect circle

Big mistakes to

avoid making

september 2018 (Issue 442) £4.20



The Queen’s

grandson on

falling off,

pony-mad kids

& more

Dazzle in


Anna Ross’ sure-fire steps to a better connection



The things you need

to consider


Your Horse september 2018

p48 How to

keep your horse

straight over fences

“You learn to sit quietly

and trust your horse’s

instincts. It’s exhilarating.

But most of all, it’s fun.”

p30 #Hack1000miles visits the Lake District



On the cover



6 Your Horse Challenges You…..

To try common riding in the Scottish Borders

8 News & views The latest from the horse world

12 Your say You get in touch

14 Send a selfie You share your pics

16 Horses around the world Australian Stock Horses

22 Work-horse balance The financial services manager

30 #Hack1000miles YH editor Aimi experiences the

highs of riding out in the beautiful Lake District

126 Horses for sale Find your dream equine partner

130 Take five TV star and horse lover Martin Clunes




4 your horse september 2018





Better Riding

38 The perfect 20m circle Learn how to ride this

movement correctly so your horse feels the benefits

42 Start as you mean to go on Flora Young’s top

tips for negotiating the cross-country startbox

48 30-minute workout Maintain your horse’s

straightness over jumps with Coral Keen’s exercises

50 Improve your connection Anna Ross helps one

reader ride with a more consistent contact

56 Cross-country corners Teach your horse to jump


with Your Horse

magazine’s giveaway

extravaganza! See p90

p60 Learn to

jump spooky

fences with ease




to win!

this accuracy question with confidence

60 Tackling tricky fences Showjumper Yazmin Pinchen

simplifies spooky fences like planks and water trays


18 The Your Horse Interview Peter Phillips

24 Flying high Fascinating behind-the-scenes insight

into international horse travel

Horse Care

68 Retirement livery The yards dedicated to taking

loving care of our golden oldies

74 Vet notes Dealing with summer sores

76 Eagle eyes Discover how your horse sees the world

— and how this can affect his behaviour

82 In the box Part two of our loading series reveals the

top secret method to help your

horse load first time, every time


66 A lesson with

showjumping star

Ellen Whitaker

103 Feed, boots, summer

care products & more

Ask the experts

92 Volunteering The benefits of helping at events

l How to become a volunteer

94 Buying and selling horses Negotiating a sale price

l What to do if your loan horse is sold on unlawfully

96 Confidence Returning to the saddle after having a baby

l Learning to trust your horse again after a fall

98 Arena advice Why it’s vital to remove droppings l Arena

maintenance l Upgrading a surface l Waxed versus dry

100 Advice from Spillers Feeding to build condition

Gear Guide

109 First Look A new range of balancers from Dodson & Horrell

110 What’s new The latest products to hit the shops

112 Put to the test Which travel boots came top of the class?

116 On trend Six overreach boots to help

protect your horse’s heels from injury

118 Buyer’s guide We help you select

the best fly rug for your horse’s needs

122 Body armour Discover the

extensive testing your body

protector is subjected to, so it

protects you when you need it



september 2018 your horse 5

Whether you’re

loading, unloading

or on the move,

a set of travel

boots will help

protect your

horse from injury

The Big


Tr avel


112 your horse september 2018


Designed to protect

your horse’s lower

legs from knocks and

bumps, find out

which travel boots

your horse should be

wearing when you’re

out on the road

this season

If you’re on the hunt for a

new set of travel boots, don’t

part with your money until

you’ve read our review of six

different sets. Our testers’

comments should help you decide

which will do the best job of keeping

your horse’s legs protected while

he’s travelling.

The boots were tested by event

rider Julia Dungworth, Victoria

Bignell, Laura Mount and Chloe

Barnes. Our testers are out and about

with their horses a couple of times a

week. Each set of boots was assessed

for their fit, ease of use, the protection

offered and whether our testers

considered them value for money.

Turn the page to read their reports.

september 2018 your horse 113

Rambo travel boots

RRP £99.95 Colours Black/silver, charcoal/silver, navy/cream, black with diamante Sizes Pony, cob, horse For stockists horseware.com


These smart boots fit well and the

wide velcro straps are quick and

easy to use. The back boots came

up slightly bigger than other

boots tested, but it meant they

covered all the vulnerable areas.


They offer good protection over

the knee and hock area and wrap

neatly around the leg. The boots

were initially quite rigid, but

softened after a couple of uses.

They’ve washed well and are

showing no signs of wear.

Value for money

These are expensive and while

they’ve done the job well, there

are others that have performed as

well for less money. If money’s no

object, these won’t let you down.


0 1 2 3 4 5


0 1 2 3 4 5

Value for money

0 1 2 3 4 5

Marks out of 15: 12

Bucas Freedom travel boots

RRP £74.99 Colours Black/silver Sizes Pony — full size For stockists bucas.com


These boots are quite soft and

flexible, which means they fit

really well and wrap nicely

around the leg.


The front boots are slightly

longer than some of the other

front boots in our test and

they’re well padded to offer

good protection. There are no

scuff plates at the bottom of the

boots — which is an area of high

wear — but the rip-stop material

is proving durable.

Value for money

A fair price for a well-fitting

pair of boots that offer a

good level of protection too.


0 1 2 3 4 5


0 1 2 3 4 5

Value for money

0 1 2 3 4 5

Marks out of 15: 13

WeatherBeeta wide tab long travel boots

RRP £44.99 Colours Black/silver, navy/silver, navy/red/white, red/navy Sizes Pony — full size For stockists weatherbeeta.co.uk


The sizing of these boots isn’t

generous. They’re shaped well

though, and the wide velcro

straps are easy to use and feel

secure. The outer fabric seems

hard-wearing and the boots

are very soft on the inside and

easy to fasten.


The length of these boots

offers a good level of

protection to the knee and

hock. They’ve washed well

and have kept their shape.

Value for money

Good value, but check the

sizing will suit your horse’s

legs as they do come up a

little small.


0 1 2 3 4 5


0 1 2 3 4 5

Value for money

0 1 2 3 4 5

Marks out of 15: 12

114 your horse september 2018



Woof Wear travel boots

RRP from £66 Colours Black/silver, navy/silver Sizes Pony, cob, full, heavy hunter For stockists woofwear.com


The hind boots fit really well,

but the fronts are a little big

width-wise. The big straps make

them quick and easy to put on

and remove. Initially they were

quite stiff, but soon softened up.


These boots cover the legs well

and don’t shift at all — even on a

horse who gets impatient when

the trailer isn’t moving. The

scuff plates are a good addition

and the boots have cleaned well

with just a wipe over.

Value for money

These are very good value for

a practical set of travel boots.

They stay in place well and

look smart too.


0 1 2 3 4 5


0 1 2 3 4 5

Value for money

0 1 2 3 4 5

Marks out of 15: 13.5

Protechmasta travel boots

RRP £100 Colour Black Sizes Small pony — extra full To buy harryhall.com


These fit well width-wise, but

could be a little taller, especially

the hindboots — just to offer more

coverage above the hock. They’re

flexible and wrap around neatly.


The scuff plate at the bottom gives

protection to the coronary band

and the padding offers good

protection. They also have a

ceramic-infused lining that

increases blood flow to help warm

up your horse and relieve stress.

The horse that tested these

boots seemed freer, sooner,

after wearing them.

Value for money

These may be expensive, but

they work as a therapy boot too.


0 1 2 3 4 5


0 1 2 3 4 5

Value for money

0 1 2 3 4 5

Marks out of 15: 12.5

Mark Todd travel boots

RRP from £65.99 Colours Navy, navy plaid, black, burgundy Sizes Cob or full, plus xsmall or pony in some colours For stockists marktoddcollection.co.uk


An excellent fit and long enough

to cover the coronet band and the

hock and knee. Quick to use with

just three big Velcro straps. They

stay securely in place without you

having to over-tighten them.


The great fit means these boots

offer a good level of protection to

the vulnerable areas of the legs.

The tough cordura nylon outer

fabric is showing no signs of wear,

just a few small marks on the

scuff plates.

Value for money

At this price and with

a free tail guard as

standard, we highly

recommend them.


0 1 2 3 4 5


0 1 2 3 4 5

Value for money

0 1 2 3 4 5

Marks out of 15: 15



www.yourhorse.co.uk september 2018 your horse 115

Your Horse meets...



The Queen’s grandson tells Aimi Clark about

running around after two horsey daughters, never

being allowed to ride Toytown and becoming director

of the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing

18 your horse september 2018

The Your Horse interview

It’s not every day you’re invited

to interview a member of the royal

family. But on a delightfully sunny

Friday, I find myself navigating

the long, sweeping lane up to

Aston Farm in Gloucestershire and

chaperoned into a converted barn

that’s normally used for social occasions.

Peter Phillips, brother to event rider Zara

Tindall and the son of The Princess Royal

and Mark Phillips, appears with a warm

“hello” and friendly handshake. He steps

behind the well-stocked rustic bar to make

coffee; his PA, Francesca, takes a seat to my

right and Snipes, his nine-month-old

Labrador, explores around us. Sunshine

streams in through the long French

windows that lead out into a walled garden.

Peter has a packed diary with a

90-minute window to chat to Your Horse.

In just a few short weeks his mother’s

neighbouring estate, Gatcombe Park, will

open its gates for the annual Magic Millions

Festival of British Eventing.

The three-day extravaganza takes place

annually, but this year there’s a difference:

Peter is at the helm.

“I’ve been involved in the horse trials as

long as I can remember, but when you think

you’ve got a good idea of what’s going on

and then you move into the role of event

director — let’s just call it a voyage of

discovery,” he says with a smile.

Don’t let that comment fool you: Peter is

well-equipped with the skills needed for

the job. Yes, on the one hand he’s royal,

recently standing on the balcony of

Buckingham Palace during Trooping of

the Colour celebrations.

On the other, less tabloid-friendly hand,

he’s managing director of Sports &

Entertainment Ltd (SEL)’s UK division,

which he set up in 2012.

Just your everyday 40-year-old father of

two juggling a daily commute into London

(it takes 1.5 hours from Kemble train station

into his office on Buckingham Palace

road) with being home for bath time.


Zara and Toytown en

route to winning gold

at the World Equestrian

Games in 2006

“I always wanted

to have a ride on

Toytown, but Zara

would never let me”

Photo: Split Seconds/Alamy

september 2018 your horse 19

“My wife has pointed

out that I’m the only

one in my family

without a gold medal”

Peter says Gatcombe

Park is a wonderful

place to grow up with

ponies — a passion that

has passed on to his

two daughters

Next month’s Festival (see box, above

right) is the largest event currently on

SEL’s books. The company’s portfolio

also includes project managing, sponsorship

consultancy and representing world-class

talent — Zara and her husband Mike


“[We haven’t had] an event as well

established as this come to us before,

so it’s been interesting,” says Peter.

“The Festival has been running for

35 years now and most of the team have

been involved for the majority of that

time. It means things are being done

because that’s the way they’ve always

been done.

“My job is managing the transition to

make the horse trials more efficient. That

means having open and interesting

conversations because, from a commercial

perspective, the only way to be sustainable

is to be as efficient as possible.

“We’re lucky we are the national

championships for British Eventing and,

in many ways, we need to be the ones

pushing boundaries about how things

are done.”

Today’s a working from home day.

“Having the horse trials is a

good excuse to be at home one day

a week and call it a horse trials

day,” says Peter.

Of course, his family’s love affair with

horses is well documented. Derby-winning

home-bred racehorses making international

headlines; a smattering of medals won at

Olympic, World and European level.

All of those shiny pieces of metal come

from the same branch of the family tree:

Princess Anne took individual gold at the

1971 European Eventing Championships and

Zara made history as the first royal to net an

Olympic medal (eventing team silver at

Remembering the ponies

Peter has fond memories of exploring

Gatcombe Park on the back of a pony.

“The pair that stand out are two greys,

a 13.2hh mare called Sparky and a 14.2hh

gelding called George. I had a lot of fun

on those two.

London 2012). Seven years earlier she had

been crowned European champion on the

great Toytown, before triumphing on the

World stage 12 months later.

Their father, acclaimed cross-country

course-designer Mark (and the man behind

the Festival’s track), is multi-medalled too.

“My wife [Autumn] has pointed out that

I’m the only one in my family without a gold

medal,” smiles Peter. “She’s actually allergic

to horses — she really married into the wrong

family for that.”

Peter estimates it’s been about 20 years

since he last rode properly.

“I’ve jumped on the odd horse since then.

It never leaves you, especially growing up

“I could point George at anything and

he would jump it. He pulled like a train,

but never went so fast that you felt

scared or out of control.

“My arms always felt about 6in longer

after riding him, though.”

20 your horse september 2018


The Your Horse interview

Forward to

the Festival

Peter says that the core values of

the Magic Millions Festival of British

Eventing (3-5 August) will never

change. Its emphasis is on a fun,

family day out watching horses.

On the sport side, there are five

British championships, while main

arena attractions include The Devil’s

Horsemen, mounted games, Shetland

Pony Grand National and dog agility.

“Hosting the Festival has always

been about giving something back

to the sport and it’s somewhere to

bring all the family,” says Peter.

“The TopSpec Challenge for the

Corinthian Cup [for amateurs] goes

back to why my parents started the

event. We’re providing a venue for

British championships but also for

grassroots riders, who get to feel

part of a big occasion.”

l Find out more at



here. Horses are everywhere you look

and they are as much in my family blood

as anything.”

Either side of the barn we’re talking in are

two generously sized cottages: one for Peter’s

family and the other for Zara’s. Stables next to

the latter are busy; familiar sounds of a farrier

working in one corner, a groom sweeping the

yard and a tractor moving bales.

“It’s such a fantastic setting to grow up

here. Zara and I were extremely fortunate to

have free run of all this space. We rode our

ponies every day and had so much fun.

“We used to ride out altogether as a family

too. When ponies are involved there are

usually funny moments. Mine once rolled

with me in a stream. They all found it

hilarious, but I didn’t, not with a soaking wet

backside to ride home in.”

By the time he needed a new horse in

order for his riding career to progress further,

Peter was playing rugby for Gloucester.

“There comes a point in everyone’s life

when you take certain paths and riding

wasn’t the one I went down.”

Peter is better associated with a

different type of horse power:

formula one. After graduating in

sports science from Exeter

University in 2000, he joined the Stewart

Grand Prix start-up team and stayed with

them as they transitioned to Jaguar racing.

Then he spent three years at Williams as a

senior account manager, looking after the

team’s main sponsors.

In 2005 he moved to the Royal Bank of

A family day out at

Royal Windsor

Horse Show

Photo: Wenn Ltd/Alamy

Scotland, designing and implementing the

bank’s first ever global Formula One

sponsorship programme, and was based in

Hong Kong for just over four years.

The opportunity to set up a UK branch

of SEL Ltd, the Australian company he

worked for while in Sydney during his gap

year, came via long-term friend and mentor

James Erskine.

“I’ve always enjoyed working in the sport

commercial world and wanting to run a

company was always there. I’d done the

right holders and clients side, so the next

step was agency,” says Peter.

“Looking back at the corporate world,

there were good times and bad, which was

painful at the time but it was good to go

through because I learned more.”

He adds that having royal blood shouldn’t

make a difference in the business world.

“There’s no way of getting away from it,

but also it can’t be played on. If anything,

people make assumptions.

“I’m a big believer in under promising and

over delivering. Judge me on that. I think the

focus on the firm [and being royal] came

from the media more than anywhere else.”

The horsey gene has passed on to

Peter’s own children, Savannah,

aged seven, and Isla, six.

“Savannah wants to go out

every weekend, whereas Isla has fits and

starts about whether she wants to ride or

not. I don’t mind. At this age, they’re young

and it’s just about having fun. We have a

few Shetlands around and they ride with

their cousins.”

Zara’s eldest daughter, Mia, is also pony

mad and inevitably newborn Lena will

catch the bug.

“It’s nice for them to be able to grow up

the same way Zara and I did. It adds to the

enjoyment of riding if you can ride with

others. For them, it’s all about enjoying it.

If they are, hopefully they’ll stick with it as

they grow up.”

The persistently horse-related questions

being fired at Peter are begining to wear thin.

If he could ride any horse, who would it be?

Are there any riders he particularly admires?

“The thing is, I haven’t ridden for so long

that I just don’t look at horses in that way,”

he muses. “I always tried to get a ride on

Toytown, but Zara would never let me.”

That may change though, due to running

around after ponies becoming trickier as

Savannah and Isla grow up and want

to go further, faster.

“They both ride off the lead-rein and I can

just about keep up with them on foot at the

moment, but I don’t think my knees will

take much more. I guess I might have to get

back on soon.”

Watch this space.

Next month: Event rider Jonelle Price

on scoring her best-ever results less than

a year after giving birth

www.yourhorse.co.uk september 2018 your horse 21





Straight as a d

Straightness is a core ingredient

in clearing a fence confidently,

says international event rider

Coral Keen. Here’s her simple

30-minute workout to help you

achieve the best approach

10 min

Exercise 1

Using the length of your arena

and keeping your horse in front of your

leg, canter once around the arena.

l1 Change gear within the canter,

encouraging your horse to move

forwards and lengthen for a few

strides before returning to a normal

working canter.

l2 On your next time around the arena,

ask for a few strides of collected

canter by closing your thighs and

tightening the core muscles in your

Approaching a fence on a

wonky line is not the way to

pull off a clear round — and it

teaches your horse bad habits.

Being straight is important, and this simple

workout can be done with horses at all

stages and with any level of experience.

It focuses on straightness, keeping a good

rhythmical canter on the turn to a fence

tummy. Hold for a few strides before

returning to working canter. This helps

engage the hindleg — key for jumping.

l3 Repeat on the other rein. Make sure

you give your horse a break in walk

between each period of canter.

l4 Let your horse walk on a long rein and

give him a pat before moving on to

the jumping exercise.

A young horse may find this exercise

difficult until he’s established his natural

balance, so don’t ask for too much at once.

Just focus on him being in front of your leg.

and encourages the horse’s shoulders to be

square in front of the jump.

Before you start your schooling session,

you need to warm up. You want your horse

going forwards in a loose, relaxed rhythm

in this workout, so it’s key to let him stretch

before you start.

Once your horse feels relaxed, gradually

pick him up into a contact.

photo: Bauer Library

20 min

Exercise 2

To set this up, you need three

cross-poles spaced out equally along the

centre line. You will be jumping them by

riding a serpentine in canter.

l1 Begin in canter at one end of the arena.

l2 Start your serpentine, which will bring

you to the first cross-pole. Land and

continue your line to the middle fence.

l3 Continue your serpentine so that you

jump the third cross-pole too.

l4 Make sure you ride several straight

strides on the approach to each fence

and also on the landing side, so that

you don’t deviate from the serpentine.

l5 Think of your landing as being your

approach to the next cross-pole.

l6 Change the rein and repeat the

exercise in the opposite direction.

l7 Depending on how confident you’re both

feeling, change the middle cross-pole

into an upright and then into an oxer.

l8 When you’re doing this well (it will

probably take several sessions), turn

the first and third fences into uprights,

so you’re jumping vertical, oxer, vertical.

l9 Repeat the exercise no more than two

or three times on each rein. Between

each serpentine, come back to walk

and give your horse a breather.

l10 To cool down, trot on a loose rein so

that your horse can stretch and relax

his muscles. Finish the workout in walk

on a long rein for five minutes or so.

The object of this exercise is to have your

horse holding a straight line and being

smooth through the turns. He should be on

the correct canter lead too, so everything

is fluent. Don’t make the fences too big;

this is all about working on the quality of

your horse’s canter and his straightness.

It can help to have your horse a little

bit in shoulder-fore, or ask for outside

flexion through the turn, so that you get

the hindleg exactly where you need it.


This is an intense exercise

that is physically hard work for

your horse because it requires

him to keep turning and jumping

with a shorter approach. Often,

more is less, so practise the

exercise over several days

instead of trying to do too

much in one go.

48 your horse september 2018



MEET the expert

Coral Keen made her

four-star debut at Burghley

in 2014 and finished 15th in

Luhmuhlen CC14* in 2016.

She’s been on two British

Nations Cup teams (Waregem

2015 and Houghton Hall

2016) and is experienced at

bringing on young horses.

Coral’s cool


Coral stresses the importance of

allowing your horse to have a

good stretch after any vigorous

exercise. Here’s her advice for

cooling off properly…

●●Correctly warming down helps

prevent stiffness, so your horse

doesn’t feel sore or tight when he

leaves his stable the following day.

●●Don’t just drop the reins and let the

horse trot around. It’s really

important to make sure your horse

takes the rein forward and down, so

that he stretches his body properly.

●●Make sure he stays in balance,

stretching from the withers over the

back and through the bridle.

GET your free

audio download!

To help you get the most out of our

expert workouts we’ve created exclusive

audio downloads just for you. Each

month, when you buy the magazine,

you’ll be given a unique web link

where you’ll find the latest audio guide.

Visit yourhorse.co.uk/coraljumping

to download your audio lesson.

september 2018 your horse 49

Take five with

Martin Clunes

The actor best known for playing Doc Martin talks about falling in love with horses in New Zealand,

owning a horse called Bruce and being president of the largest equestrian charity in the UK

Martin says he’s

happiest on his

Dorset farm

with his horses

PHOto: British Horse Society

Where did your love of horses come from?

I got drawn into the whole horse thing via my daughter

and my wife. I was very happy to be part of the support

team, drive the pony around and dress it up for fancy

dress and things, but I wasn’t that bothered about getting

on one or having a relationship with a horse myself.

Then I was doing a job in New Zealand and the girls

came out with me. I had to ride a horse in the film and

met the horse the day before shooting started, so my

wife and daughter came too and we all went for a ride.

I suddenly realised it was something the three of us

could do together and instantly — before we got back to

England — I texted someone and bought a horse.

How did you become involved with the British Horse

Society (BHS)?

I was at Hickstead in the BHS box, watching the jumping,

and somebody asked if I would be interested in being

the president. I thought “fantastic, if I get to go in this

box every year and meet all these great people, then

yes”! This year the society is celebrating its 70th year

and I am very honoured to be involved. The BHS does

so much for the horse and the equine community as a

whole. It’s great to be a part of it.

If you could ride any famous horse — past or

present — who would it be and why?

I would love to have a go on Bertie, the BHS’s horse

puppet. I’m sure he’s going to become one of the greats!

Are there any plans to get Doc Martin riding?

Not that I’m aware of, but it would be a beautiful place to

“Before we

got back to


I’d bought

a horse”

Martin took over

as president of

the British Horse

Society in 2011.

The charity was

founded in 1947,

and has grown

to become the

largest and

most influential


charity in

the UK, with

over 100,000


Find out more

at bhs.org.uk.

go riding. We film Doc Martin in Port Isaac, Cornwall and

it’s stunning. It’s hilly and stacked up, and you’re never

looking at the same thing for any two paces — it changes

the whole time. The beautiful countryside and beaches

mean it would be a pleasure to ride there.

What is your fondest horsey memory?

I have so many, but one that still makes me laugh is when

Bruce, my horse, was trying to get my attention while I

was doing a live TV interview at my farm in Dorset.

I was being interviewed about the BHS’s new project,

Changing Lives Through Horses. It’s all about helping

disengaged children, who learn so much by working

with horses. Bruce kept nudging me throughout the

interview, much to the amusement of Lorraine Kelly,

who was laughing while trying to ask me questions.

If you could time travel, where would you go?

I’m happiest on my farm in Dorset, with my family and

all our animals. When I’m away working, it would be

nice to time travel back there.

What is your dream three-course meal?

I’m very lucky, as part of my role as president of the

BHS I get to attend various events. I went to one event

at Buckingham Palace, which was hosted by the BHS’s

vice-patron, HRH The Princess Royal, and that was a

dream three-course meal.

Who would play you in a film about your life?

I really couldn’t say! I admire so many actors, it would be

difficult to choose one.

130 your horse september 2018


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