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Welcome meet the team… Editor’s letter

Follow Alison at

Soraya Abdel-Hadi Assistant Editor Says: “Almost all of us have lamented the lack of riding routes in our local area, but how many of us have done something about it? We’ve found the riders fighting for routes in their areas and gathered their tips on how you can improve your riding network, too. Turn to p104 to find out more.” Follow Soraya at hr_insider

Lucy Cursons

Lisa Harris

Assistant Editor

Staff Writer

Says: “Call me boring, but I just love plaiting up horses! It gives me such pleasure to see them looking so smart, and I’m convinced many of them actually start posing and showing off their best side once they are all done up for a show! Find out how to dress your horse to impress on p96. Go on, you know you want to make him look gorgeous!” Follow Lucy at twitter. com/hr_healthyhorse

Says: “Everyone suffers from competition jitters – even Olympians. But as all top riders will tell you, confidence is the key to doing well under a judge’s eagle eye! So how do you get yourself into a winning state of mind? Some of the best riders in the world share the secrets to their success on p52.” Follow Lisa at

Laid up with an old riding injury, I watched Badminton and was enthralled – meet surprise winner Jock Paget on p6!

Editor Alison Bridge has ridden since age seven, studied zoology at university and owns Harry, a 19-year-old cob with whom she does everything from hacking to showing to one-day eventing.

Summer can be all-too-brief sometimes, so this month Horse&Rider is devoted to helping you enjoy it to the max. First up, Mary King... she always looks (a) stylish (b) secure and (c) like she’s having a ball when she’s jumping – on p28 you can find out how. On p34, instructor Martin Diggle explains that if you can dance – even badly, like a dad at a wedding – you can ride with rhythm. Got a Speedy Gonzalez? Up-andcoming eventer Gemma Tattersall helps him stop rushing fences on p40. On p46, Sylvia Loch explains how to use rein aids sympathetically – an article all our horses would appreciate! Gillian Higgins illustrates tendons and ligaments on live horses on p86, showing how they work and how to keep them in good working order. And on p80, the Petplan Equine Vet of the Year explains how to help old horses live healthier for longer – something we’d all like for our horses. Enjoy July, and see you again in August Horse&Rider!

Says Deputy Editor Jane Gazzard, who put her enforced leisure time to good use catching up with top-class competition action.

Discover our team’s wealth of horsey experience at ★ EDITORIAL Editor Alison Bridge Deputy Editor Jane Gazzard Assistant Editors Lucy Cursons, Soraya Abdel-Hadi Staff Writer Lisa Harris ★ ART Art Editor Heather Blagden Designer Su Richards ★ WEBSITE Digital Marketing Executive Sam Morris-Warburton

★ ADVERTISING & MARKETING Group Advertising Manager Abi Cannon Advertising and Promotions Manager Amanda Grainger Sales Executive Verity Payne Marketing Manager Zoe Cannon Marketing Co-ordinator Alison Hill Senior Production Controller Ben Harris ★ PUBLISHING Accounts Peggy Ainsworth, Sarah Smith Administrator Vicki Owen

Commercial Director Marion O’Sullivan MBE Publishing Director Terry Grimwood Deputy Managing Directors Andrea Moffatt, Steve Moore Managing Director Kate Austin ★ BACK ISSUES Single copy UK £5.73, Europe £6.99, ROW £7.62.

★ SUBSCRIPTIONS Phone ☎ 0844 499 1766 Email Online Post Horse&Rider Subscriptions, FREEPOST RSHK-TULJ-ABJR, Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 8GU. Annual subscriptions: UK £51.87, Europe £72.99, rest of world £89.99 UK sterling Shortlisted Awards 2011 ★Consumer Magazine of the Year

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Contents July 2013


Regulars 6

Horseworld Equestrian news, views and an interview with Jock Paget

14 Racing ahead Visit

Andrew Balding’s racing yard on Watership Down

22 Write, tweet, share Readers’ letters

64 What’s on the Web?

78 Subscribe to H&R and get a grooming kit

160 Competition entries

In the saddle 28 Jump with Mary King Discover the star’s top jumping tips

34 Do you have rhythm?

Use the skills you already possess for better riding

40 Stop your horse rushing Gemma Tattersall’s great gridwork ideas

46 Get a great contact Rein supreme with Sylvia Loch

One form for all prizes

161 Next month What

we’ve got in store for the August issue of Horse&Rider

162 Memory lane H&R

articles from the 1950s



Mind matters 52 Compete with confidence Top riders

reveal their psychological tricks for achieving your best performance

58 Super senses

Professor Natalie Waran explains the horse’s visual and olfactory senses – how he sees and smells


Ente compertiour on ontieons form

128 WIN! Training and tack

90 WIN! A Friesian day out

140 Perfect prizes!

with Blue Chip

66 Horse management

● Travelling horses long distances ● Poo picking paddocks ● Fly tactics

68 Equine behaviour

● My horse hates being groomed! ● Box rest blues ● Unbalanced trot

70 Veterinary Heart-bar ●

shoes ● Treating thrush ● Strangles explained

72 Shopping Western ●

27 WIN! A VIP visit to

Horse of the Year Show

Ask the Experts

with Schwenkel

£1,690-worth of prizes

riding gear ● Saddles for TBs ● Haynet safety

74 Riding technique

● Reluctance to go forward ● Keeping hands steady ● Approaching jumps straight

76 Quick Q&As

Red jackets ● Horse funding ● Top shows


Photo: Kit Houghton

Kiwi Jock Paget talks Badminton 2013. H&R finds out more on p8


I thought I could win, but I didn’t know if I would. Both horses are experienced and were on top form



PART TWO In this feature...

Photos: Bob Atkins. Thanks to clinic organiser Fiona Woodford, Mary King, Patchetts Equestrian Centre and all the riders who participated. Email for details of upcoming clinics

Our trainer Mary King MBE has been a top three-day eventer for 30 years, training and latterly breeding her horses. She has won three Olympic medals, two gold and a silver WEG medal and four team golds at the European Championships.

Our models Lindsey Lambert has owned 11-yearold Irish Sport Horse Kit for six years, breaking and producing her from the start. The pair enjoy showing and one-day eventing. Amy Bird pinches her mum’s dressage horse, seven-year-old dappled-grey Irish Sport Horse Dixon for British Eventing and other special occasions, like the chance to ride in a Mary King clinic. In the four years that Emma Cordery has owned Shaliko, the 14-yearold chestnut mare has never let her down – showing, eventing, dressage or horsey holidays with friends. At a big 17hh, sometimes her enthusiasm can be overwhelming. 28 HORSE &RIDER

Secure lower legs ➤ Balanced body

Safe and effective Learn from Britain’s favourite eventer! Here Mary King describes vital riding techniques you need to know – and put into practice – to jump safely. Kelly McCarthy-Maine reports

In the saddle

Unrestrictive hands ➤ Mary’s top jumping exercises

Top tips ➤ When it comes to jumping, an underpowered canter makes it difficult, an energetic canter makes it easy. ➤ Jump with a neck strap so you don’t have to grab at your horse’s mouth if anything gets too erratic.


ast month, Mary explained her first secret of riding success – get your horse in front of the leg. That way, you don’t have to flap your legs coming into the fence which unbalances you and the horse, or poke him in the sides constantly, raising your heel which makes for a less-than-secure leg position. It also helps create a good jumping canter. She explains: “When a horse is in front of your leg you can develop a rhythmical, energetic, jumping


canter – da-da-dum, da-da-dum, da-da-dum. With a good jumping canter, there isn’t as much pressure to find the ‘perfect’ distance to a jump – the worst you can be is half a stride too close or half a stride too far away. “When you have a good jumping canter, your horse will have the energy and impulsion to cope with the adjustment. If your canter is lacking, your horse will struggle and you are more likely to end up in trouble,” explains Mary.


Legs, body and hands all need to work effectively to help your horse jump


of jumping security

1 Secure lower leg 2 Balanced, upright body A secure lower leg is the basis for your ‘stickability’. “The position, security and stability of your lower leg is what keeps you in the saddle, on top of your horse, no matter what happens,” explains Mary. “With a secure ‘heel down, toe up’ lower leg position, you will not fall off unless your horse falls over,” she says. It may feel odd to start with, but shortening your stirrups actually helps you stay more secure in the saddle when you’re jumping – and Mary’s go up no fewer than nine holes for cross country. “I put my stirrups up seven holes when I’m showjumping – and I go up two more when I’m jumping cross-country,” she says. “Strangely, shorter stirrups give you better balance, help you get up above your horse, keep you from bouncing up and down on the saddle and lets you be light on their back between fences,” explains Mary.

“Sitting up before, during and in between fences will make you stronger and more secure in your position,” says Mary. “I often remind myself to not let my upper body come too far forward. It’s easy to do, especially when you get tired, but it is critical for the horse’s balance that you are not loading all your weight onto his shoulders and front legs. It makes his job much harder. “I often see riders gallop to the fence in balance with a great position, then ‘Oh – a jump!’ and as the horse begins to lift his shoulders, all their weight comes flopping down as they lie on his neck. That’s the last thing he needs as he’s trying to jump. “Let the horse take off first, feel him bring his shoulders off the ground, come towards your body and close the gap. Follow him over the fence, and then let him open the gap again on landing. Stay as still as you can, stay in balance and be ready for the next fence.”

3 Unrestrictive hand

“We can get into a habit when we are jumping to always pull, pull, pull,” says Mary. “But when the horse approaches a fence in front of your leg and with energy, jumping is so much easier for him. We need to ride our horses forward and let them enjoy jumping, no pulling required! “Horses get strong when jumping for many reasons and it’s our job to figure out why. Sometimes it is simply a restrictive hand that makes him buzzy and strong. He sees a fence and thinks ‘Help! I don’t have enough energy’, so he starts to run. And you pull. “Let him stride on. Try softening your hand. He may settle once he doesn’t feel so restricted. If you dominate the canter too much, he’ll worry that he’s under-powered for jumping. But, when you first soften your reins, he may worry about where you have gone until he feels more confident. Keep at it!”

Sitting upright before, during and between fences will make you stronger and more secure in your riding position HORSe&RIDeR 29

Horse&Rider magazine - July 2013  

The best-selling equestrian monthly is full of advice, exercises, articles and features all about equestrians, riding and horses. Pick up a...