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WORTH £28,700




B e a b e t t e r r i d e r , g e t t h e b e s t f r o m yo u r h o r s e

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GIFT Gt ideas Presen for you and your horse


● How to make 20

minutes count ● Readers help you balance the books ● Short but effective lungeing exercises

taking on a pro

Adjusting to life with an ex-competition horse IS IT HIS NERVES?

Spotting the signs of neurological disease


Keep your horse supple with ridden stretches £3.80

• save time save money • spotting neurological disease • big test on winter riding boots • andrew gould • stretching


Riding CARE GEAR Winter riding boots Improve your contact Feeding ex-racehorses on test and show jumping kit for all

and the best vet advice with Andrew Gould plus effective lungeing for a healthy winter

December 2011

Your Horse 354 DECEMBER 2011



The yard

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Stephanie Croxford

I’ve never put my life on hold for dressage Words Larissa Chapman Photography Matthew Roberts


fter starting out blasting around the countryside on her husband’s hunters, a twist of fate led Stephanie to find chestnut gelding Mr President in the back of a newspaper. Not your conventional dressage horse, she never considered this as a route to take with him, but after a passing comment during a cross-country lesson she decided to give it a go. Now a dressage legend and a true one of a kind, his and Steph’s success has been that of dreams. With a busy family life to keep up she tells us how she’s ‘just a normal person’, but we have a sneaking suspicion that she is in fact superhuman! Pulling up at her home in Matlock, Derbyshire, as the mist rolls over the hills, we park outside her stable block and head over to the house where we’re welcomed by a jovial and raring-to-go Steph. She’s just finished the morning school run with her eldest daughter Annabelle and is now up to her elbows in Weetabix as she feeds her one-year-old son, Ben. Queen of multi-tasking, she manages to bob the kettle on and dish out the biscuits before sitting down to chat to us. Steph and Mr President (or Mr P) have been a resounding success on the dressage circuit over the years, proving themselves to the sceptics who didn’t understand their unconventional style! Her achievements include winning the Best Brit award at Fry’s CDI in 2006 as well as the Heather Harrison trophy for the most accomplished northern rider, and scoring more than 70% in her first World Cup qualifier at Olympia. It’s fair to say she’s an inspiration to so many aspiring dressage riders across the country.

Steph’s top horses Mr President and Mr Hyde (seen here) have achieved huge success thanks to her winning training methods

Turn over for Steph’s answers to your questions

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Win this horsebox worth £28,700!

Safe journey If you’re taking your horse to a competition and your dog’s coming too, it’s important your animals stay safe in transit, as the experts at Dog-It explain Travel in style

The correct travel gear is a must for your horse, even for short journeys. Padded travel boots help protect against cuts and bruises, while a tail guard will keep his tail clean and rub-free. A wicking cooler rug keeps draughts at bay, while a poll guard will protect this area if your horse throws his head up.

HAVE DOG, WILL TRAVEL... From its Tuff Luvz Toy Bone to its range of cushioned dog beds and carriers, Dog-It has everything your pampered pooch needs. Together with the Cat-It range, it’s part of the Rolf C Hagen (UK) Ltd group, one of the largest privately owned pet companies in the world. Hagen has offices and research centres across the world, and specialises in supplying innovative and unique products, which have the welfare of your animal at heart. For more information or to find a local stockist visit

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Extra supplies

Packing extra water, hay and feed is important if you spend all day at a competition – and if your dog is intent on sharing the show day experience, don’t forget a suitable water container for him. Dog-It have a range plastic and stainless steel water bowls ideal for transit, as well as toys to keep him busy while you compete.

Canine carriers If your dog’s coming along for the ride, it’s worth investing in a proper in-car carrier. Dog-It produces a range of cages that are ideal for use in cars. All have a removable tray for easy cleaning and fold flat for easy storage. They can also be used to keep your dog secure at a competition.

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When your horse travels, the right safety features will help to ensure his journey is as smooth and comfortable as possible. Our fabulous Equi-Trek Sonic Horsebox comes with a fully adjustable partition, high impact kick boards, padded breast bar and head divider to separate the horses’ heads while travelling.


his Equi-Trek Sonic Horsebox is worth a cool £28,700 – and it could be yours if you enter our fantastic competition today! The Sonic is compact and easy to drive and carries two horses in total luxury. It has the added benefit of a tack/changing/sitting area, with two saddle racks, two bridle racks and two coat hooks so you can carry all your equipment with ease, totally separate from the horses’ area. There’s also additional storage over the cab. Equi-Trek has generously added a package of incredible extras to our Sonic, including: • Alloy wheels • Mud flaps • Head divider • Corner seat with storage • CCTV camera • Digital reversing camera • Padded partition • Padded walls • Extra height partition • Road tax until June 2012

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Go to and follow the instructions. Special terms and conditions apply. Closing date is midday on 2 January 2012. Alternatively visit Your Horse Live at Stoneleigh Park – the horsebox will be on show for you to have a look at and you can enter while you’re there For more information on the Equi-Trek range of horseboxes, go to or call 01484 852121 •Competition open to UK entrants only.



As well as the fantastic Equi-Trek Sonic Horsebox, we’re giving you the chance to win prizes every month from our Win a Horsebox sponsors Dog-It, Dodson & Horrell, Petplan Equine, Musto and Equisafety. This month, we’ve teamed up with Dog-It to offer five readers a Dog-It wire dog crate, and a further five readers a Cat-It special edition ‘pink ribbon’ Voyageur cat carrier! • To enter, and for full terms and conditions, go to www. – closing date is 28 December, 2011. For more on the Dog-It range visit

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and flex

Ridden stretches will keep your horse supple all year round and are particularly useful when you’re short of time in winter to ensure that his joints stay mobile and healthy


idden stretches are as useful for a 20-year-old as they are for a young competition horse, but they can often get overlooked – despite offering huge

benefits and being simple to achieve. Here our equine physiotherapist Etti Cook uncovers the art of stretching and tells you why stretching should be a priority, not an afterthought.

Meet the EXPERT Etti Cook

Etti runs Elite Physiotherapy and specialises in both equine and human physiotherapy. As a chartered physiotherapist, Etti is trained to evaluate and treat injury or dysfunction with physical/hands on treatments, electrotherapy and exercises to ensure that horse and rider are pain free and able to achieve maximum functional ability.

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Learn from the

Name Harbinger

Greatest achievements Enjoyed a string of wins

in the 1990s with rider Tina Cook, including the British Intermediate Championships at Gatcombe in 1996. He retired from top-level competition in 2001. Now At the age of 26 he’s now fully retired due to osteoarthritis in both front feet, but Claire’s looked after him for 10 years and the pair have enjoyed huge success in the show ring.


Buying a schoolmaster who’s chalked up an impressive career may seem the obvious choice for an ambitious rider, but it’s important to understand how he trained in his previous life in order to click as a partnership. Here to help is Claire Llewelyn, who has three former eventing legends – Shear H2O, Ringwood Cockatoo and Harbinger Words Helen Milbank Photography Matthew Roberts and Kit Houghton

About Claire

Claire Llewelyn BHSII is a rider, trainer and former eventing yard manager. Over the past 10 years she’s taken on the three eventing stars you see here, so she’s well versed in the pros and cons of dealing with hugely experienced schoolmasters and helping them adapt to a new pace of life. Also pictured is her daughter Lottie.

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Name Shear H20

Greatest achievements Won team silver at the

Name Ringwood Cockatoo

Greatest achievements Won team gold at the

World Equestrian Games in 2006 and individual bronze at the European Eventing Championships in 2007 with German rider Bettina Hoy. He retired from top-level competition in 2009. Now Now 20, he’s been with Claire since September, so the pair are still getting to know one another, but she hopes to do dressage and showing with him.

Sydney Olympics in 2000 with Leslie Law, team gold at the European Eventing Championships in 2001 and bronze at the World Equestrian Games in 2002. He retired from top-level competition in 2005. Now Over the past six years he’s lived with Claire, finding his retirement forte in the dressage arena, competing at Advanced level earlier this year at the age of 21.

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privaTe lesson with international dressage rider Andrew Gould

Encouraging your horse to work over his back properly and through from behind can be a challenge but it’s worth the effort to achieve a lighter and more responsive horse Olympic selection in 2012. Andrew Gould has been Fact file Andrew runs Priory successfully competing in dressage since he was Name: Andrew Gould Dressage with his wife Polly. Experience: Winner It offers a full range of 13. As a young rider he of 11 regional services for every dressage had international championship classes enthusiast, providing full success on his to date, winner of 2011 Compiegne, training livery for horse Koffee France CDI 3* KUR, competition horses and Break, who Winner of Premier riders with superb facilities at he trained League classes up to Inter I level and British their yard in Surrey. Andrew himself Dressage Central is also available for dressage from a fiveRegion and Southern lessons and clinics right the year-old. Regional Trainer way from Novice level to the He was dizzy heights of Grand Prix. on five Today, Andrew is helping Your Horse consecutive GB reader Justine Robinson and her European Teams, won a horse Enzo break into the dressage team bronze medal in 2000 world. So far Justine and Enzo’s main and went on to compete at discipline has been show jumping but International Grand Prix Justine is keen to get her seven-yearlevel with Koffee Break. old Warmblood into the dressage Andrew is now one of the game as well. With a competition on UK’s leading dressage riders the horizon Justine’s lesson with – he’s renowned and Andrew could not have come at a respected on the circuit by better time. some of the most wellA change of discipline can be known figures in the sport. challenging so Andrew needs to help As well as this, he’s also in Justine put the basics in place. He huge demand as a trainer. watches her with a critical eye as she With numerous titles under warms up with Enzo and soon sees his belt, Andrew’s sights are the area in need of work. now set firmly on World and

A change of discipline can be challenging you r hor se

For more riding advice go to

Meet the pupil

Find out over the page how Andrew helps Enzo to work onto a contact

See the celebs Top riders will be giving tips and advice at our fa ntastic show on 12-13 Novembe r. Visit w w w.yourhors for more details

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Meet the model Cookie is Simon’s nine-year-old mare, out of an Appaloosa stallion – not that you’d notice as there isn’t a spot in sight. Simon bought her in February primarily for his wife Gill who was returning to riding after a 10 year break. Because Cookie’s done mostly show jumping in the past, he’s taken her right back to basics. She’s now coming on in leaps and bounds and Simon hopes she’ll be ready to start competing soon, although he’s in no rush with her.

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Lunge perfect Properly done, lungeing is the perfect way to give your horse a short but effective workout – ideal for winter when time is at a premium and the weather restricts exercise


hen the dark nights draw in and the time and motivation for riding is not at its peak, lungeing can be a great tool. Twenty-five minutes is all you need to improve your horse in all sorts of ways. We’ve enlisted the help of dressage expert Simon Battram to show us the best way to lunge effectively. Read on to find out what you should be doing.

It’s a great way to bond with your horse

The benefits of lungeing

Lungeing is a fantastic form of exercise but just like with any training, if done incorrectly it can cause more problems than it solves, so it pays to make sure your technique is top notch. I lunge at least once a week and for the following reasons: • P urely for exercise, especially if my horse is having more time in the stable than usual • To increase fitness and suppleness • To introduce a new exercise – jumping or advanced dressage movements for instance • It’s a great way to build a bond with your horse • To start a young horse off Reme minute mber 25 s of lun geing is equ around ivalent to 45 min utes of ridden exer don’t o cise, so verdo it



Simon Battram

Simon has been riding since a child and trained under a former chief rider of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. He specialises in working in-hand to help dressage horses at all levels. For more info visit

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4 exercises to make

20 minutes

count Four effective exercises to make the most of your time in the saddle As the winter sets in, you’ll probably find yourself, like the rest of us, rushing to the yard, flinging your saddle on and leaping on board for a quick schooling session - battling to get finished before the light fades. But even when you’re pushed it’s important to ensure you make the most of your time in the saddle. Riding a short schooling session that benefits every part of the horse is ideal, so we’ve enlisted the help of dressage rider and riding instructor Cameron Macintyre for some top advice

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Meet the expert Cameron Macintyre

Cameron is a BHSII and BHS Stable Manager and is chief riding instructor and full-time manager of the team at Brampton stables in Northamptonshire. He also has a wealth of competition experience. With such a hectic schedule and so many horses to ride, he knows how to make 20 minutes count.

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They’re worth it!

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“A chill-out hack makes it all

worthwhile” If you’re juggling long working hours, a busy family life and delicate finances – all for the love of your horse – you’re not alone. We meet three readers doing just that to see how they find a balance and stay sane(ish!) Words Helen Milbank Photography Matt Roberts and Martyn Barnwell

“My horses keep me ”



Juggling a hectic career with the demands of bringing on a youngster and caring for her older horse, life’s all about precision timing for Kent-based lawyer Danielle Heath…

work full time, and being a lawyer in the City, it’s not a case of working nine ’til five, but rather nine until whenever the work’s done. I’m often not home until late in the evening,” says Danielle. “It’s a manic schedule made even more hectic by the fact that I have two horses who live at two different yards and I try to squeeze in at least one ride mid-week. It takes a master plan and lots of effort to make it from Monday to Friday, and my weekends are no less hectic. But in the face of a hugely stressful job, it’s my horses and my very patient and understanding husband, Dino, who keep me sane.

Danielle enjoys a little quality time with Ria

“I’ve had my old boy, Loxley, a 21-year-old Danish Warmblood, for 10 years and he’s like a comfy old slipper. I know him so well I can hop on board for a hack on a Sunday and totally relax. My other horse, Ria, is a four-yearold Thoroughbred who I bred myself. While I still love hacking out on her, it can be a less relaxing experience! “Ria and Loxley were both at the same yard last year after I moved Ria up from Devon where she was bred, but Loxley’s severe sweet itch forced me to find him a new home earlier this year. He’s now a couple of miles up the road in a lovely yard high up on a hill, which is great for his sweet itch – this was the first

summer for years he wasn’t affected. “Keeping two horses at two different places is a logistical nightmare at times and makes for extra guilt that I’m not sharing my time equally between them, but I’m lucky that both yards are fantastically well run. They’re both on full livery seven days a week, and although this is crippling financially, it’s been a blessing. I’ve realised the key to keeping myself sane is being realistic about what I can achieve. Full livery means I can spend quality time with them when I’m at the yard and if I need to work or dart off to Derbyshire to see my mum at the weekend, then I can. r hor se .c o.u k


Neurological diseases

affect either the horse’s central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) or the peripheral nerves

Making a diagnosis

If your vet suspects a neurological problem, however subtle the symptoms, he’ll perform a thorough investigation

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Touched a

nerve? A wobbly back end, uneven pupil sizes or changes in behaviour could all be signs of neurological disease, but would you spot them and make the connection?


ost of us would like to think we’d know if there was something wrong with our horse, but with some of the indications of neurological disease

being subtle it might not be as straightforward as we think. Here, vets Richard Stephenson and Gil Riley tell us what we should know about equine neurology.

Meet the experts Richard Stephenson

Richard is a vet who specialises in equine care. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Pool House Veterinary Group and Equine Clinic in Staffordshire.

Gil Riley

Gil is a vet who specialises in equine care. A regular Your Horse expert, he also works at the Pool House Veterinary Group and Equine Clinic

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Care Get expert advice Racehorse reha

bilitation experts will be demonst rating at YHL on Nove mber 12-13 see pages 70-7 1

Meet the expertS

pic: Grossick Photography

Fred & Rowena

Fred and Rowena Cook have many years of experience handling and re-training horses off the track. Together they run Equine Management and Training in Cambridgeshire. Their knowledge and understanding of the racehorse and the racing industry enables them to provide practical help and advice to new owners.

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What’s on the menu?

Fred and Rowena Cook of Equine Management and Training looks at the role diet plays in rehabilitating ex-racehorses and explains what, when and how to feed a horse off the track


previously been fed. Making gradual yet significant adjustments to his feed is, therefore, a priority. For example, a high level of fibre in the diet is key to fulfilling the needs of all horses, both physically and mentally. Despite this, the heightened energy requirement of racehorses means their diets are typically high in fast release, energy-giving foods, such as cereals, but low in forage and fibre. Indeed, many Racehorses in ally racehorses are fed more typic are ing train fed cereals in volume (weight) of concentrates alone each day than their non-racing counterparts. This highstarch, highsugar method of feeding goes against the

any ex-racehorses adapt well to a new career and they can excel in many different spheres, but horses just out of racing first need some time to adjust to a new routine. One of the areas that’s really key to successfully rehabilitating ex-racehorses is feeding.

Feed to fit

Re-schooling is not the only requirement for a Thoroughbred fresh out of training. The ex-racehorse may also have a number of physical and behavioural issues that first need to be addressed and these may well be due to the diet he’s

horse’s natural way of feeding and can actually disrupt the digestive process, which, in turn, can result in problems such as gastric ulcers and colic. “As the horse is designed to be a virtual non-stop eating machine, this means that stomach acid is constantly being secreted, with the constant supply of food stimulating saliva production and then neutralising of the acid,” explains Rowena. “However, the racehorse doesn’t actually have access to a more or less constant supply of food. Therefore, taking into account that concentrate feeds are eaten much more quickly than fibre-based feeds, racehorses can go for lengthy periods of time without food during which time the acid is not neutralised. This can result in ulceration of the stomach lining.”

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Give your horse a

winter MoT

Vet Charlie Briggs tells you how to ensure that your horse’s skin, hooves, feed regime and airways are on the right track for winter

Skin care

Parasites and bacteria abound in winter – keep your brushes clean to help keep your horse’s sensitive skin problem free

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Carry on chewing


As well as the right diet, make sure your horse’s teeth are in good nick so he can chew his hay properly

No sneezes please

Fresh air is essential to help stop the spread of respiratory disease for stabled horses

Happy hooves

Your horse’s hooves are particularly vulnerable in winter so pay increased attention to their health

Meet the expert Charlie Briggs

Charlie is an equine vet who works for the Hale Veterinary Group in Wiltshire. She’s also team vet for the Great British Endurance Development Squad and a keen horse rider.

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olics Shopahe heav n

Long winter riding boots

g for you every thin You’ll find is great th at orse and your h b er -13 Novem event on 12 r fo 1 -7 s 70 – see page ils ta e d more

We tested seven pairs of long winter riding boots in the worst of last year’s weather. Here we recommend the ones you should buy so you’re ready for everything this winter throws at you

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For more gear reviews go to


obody likes having cold feet, but it’s difficult to avoid them in winter when we spend long hours out in the cold, riding and looking after our horses. To help you find a pair of long winter riding boots that will keep you warm and comfortable this year, we asked a group of hardy riders to test seven pairs last year. Our testers, including members of the YH team and liveries from Cross Leys Farm, Cambridgeshire, wore the boots in snow, ice, wind and rain. Each pair were assessed under the following criteria: Fit/comfort Our testers assessed how well each pair of boots fitted in the foot and around the calf, how long they took to break in and whether they were comfortable to ride in. They also looked

at how easy they were to put on and take off, and if any zips or other fastenings were easy to use. Performance Each tester considered how well the boots performed and if they lived up to the manufacturer’s claims. Top of the check list was how well the boots kept their feet warm while riding in various weather conditions. The testers also commented on how well the boots wore over a winter of use and how easy they were to clean and care for. Value for money Finally, taking comments on fit/comfort and performance into account, our testers looked at whether the boots were good value for money and if they buy’d another pair or recommend them to you. Allison Lowther gear test editor

What to look for Lining

There is now a large choice of different linings available. Look for boots which have a fleece, sheepskin or some kind of insulated lining which will help keep your feet warm and comfortable even when the temperature drops below zero.

Outer material

Long riding boots aren’t just made from leather. There is now a wide choice of different materials used including Nubuck leather, oily leather and pvc. Most of these new materials will be waterproof and easy to care for.


A rear zip is a popular choice on riding boots because they make putting them on and taking them off much easier. However, it can also be an area of weakness as it is subjected to wear and tear. A fastener at the top of the boot – either a strap or popper – helps to keep the zip done up and gives the boots a neat appearance.


Most soles are made from rubber but there are a number of boots that have additional features in the sole of the boot to increase foot stability and comfort for the rider. r hor se .c o.u k



EMILY’s wishlist

YH editorial assistant Emily Laughton


Toggi Ambia Jacket From £159

Wax jackets are making a bit of a comeback and I particularly like the look of this one from Toggi. The semi-fitted design gives a flattering look and the big hood will help protect me from the elements. It’s almost too good to wear at the yard, but perfect for casual wear. Colours Olive, navy Sizes XS to XXL Contact 0113 270 7007 or

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For more gear reviews go to


Christmas Gifts Find out what our editorial team have on their wishlists to send to Santa – it might give you some great gift ideas too!






Bucas Smartex Riding Rug £58

I ride in all weather and feel a bit mean when Kishon is clipped and I’m working him in the rain and cold. This riding rug looks like it’s a good design. It fits under the saddle flap so is easy to put on and take off. Colours Black with black/gold trim Sizes S to XL Contact 01352 763350 or


Ariat Olympia breeches £110

I’m in desperate need of a new pair of everyday breeches and I like the look of these from Ariat. They are a flattering style and the full seat will give additional comfort and security when I’m riding. Colours Truffle, granite, mocha, beige, black, white, navy Sizes 24 to 34 Contact www.ariat-europe. com or 0800 600 3209


NuuMed HiWither Close Contact Half Wool saddlepad £65.75

My old jumping saddlepad is looking a bit tired and it’s not very white either, so I need a new one! I like the shape of this one – the high wither design means it will keep Kishon comfortable. Colours Black, brown, white, ivory Sizes M, L, XL Contact


Harpley Equestrian Cool Leg Wraps £55 a pair

We use ice on Kishon’s legs after competing but it isn’t always practical to cart ice around. These boots look like a convenient alternative to have in the lorry ready to use after we’ve been to the gallops or after jumping. Colour Navy Sizes Pony, cob and full size Contact 0115 961 1537 or

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• Build your horse’s confidence • Ride a winning jump-off • Stop bad behaviour • Get your horse moving and thinking forwards • Cope if your horse gets cast

exclusive 64-page section

Challenge 2012 – full of expert advice, top celebrity interviews, Olympic news and more to inspire you to make next year a success!

PLUS 1 you r

hor se

n’s g legend Blyth Tait • One woma Exclusive interview with eventin on re and riding Q&As • Vet advice battle to save her horse • Your ca al chance to win a horsebox dealing with heart problems • Fin

Your Horse

On Sale 1 DEC

Your Horse December Issue 354  

This month we’ve got an issue packed with advice and information to help you make the best of your time and money this winter - with top rid...

Your Horse December Issue 354  

This month we’ve got an issue packed with advice and information to help you make the best of your time and money this winter - with top rid...