Equestrian & Horse Riding Books
Gemma Hoggs' Stable Lass is a heartfelt memoir that reveals what it's like to work at one of the country's top racing yards.
- RRP £14.99
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Gemma explains how despite the long hours and low pay, she finds her job incredibly rewarding: she works in the beautiful surroundings of Middleham in Wensleydale and the majesty of the horses makes up for any challenges she faces from humans.
She talks about the dangers, politics, in-fighting, romances and affairs that exist in the horse riding industry and also opens up about her grief after losing a horse. She also reveals all about the people she deals with - from straight-talking boss Mickey Hammond to millionaire owners and jockeys that starve themselves to lose weight...
The remarkable true story of 'Big Red,' one of America's finest racehorses. When her beloved Meadow Stables is faced with closure following her father's illness, housewife and mother Penny Chenery agrees to take over. Despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge she calls in assistance from trainer Lucien Laurin and a host of successful jockeys. Pitted against the Phipps' racing dynasty, Penny takes the decision to breed her mare Somethingroyal to the Phipps' Bold Ruler, the nation's favourite stallion. With the toss of a coin it is agreed that one family will take Somethingroyal's first foal with the losing stable taking the colt out of Hasty Matelda and Somethingroyal's second foal. Penny loses the toss, but the wait for the unborn foal proves fortuitous when a bright red chestnut colt is born, Secretariat. Nicknamed "Big Red," with Laurin's guidance, Penny manages to navigate the male-dominated business of horse racing, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and what may be the greatest racehorse of all time. Now, more than 30 years after its initial publication, the story of "Big Red" continues to be a classic. Secretariat is the tale of a great racehorse but also a testimony to the dedication of Penny Chenery. Following her triumph with Secretariat she was elected as the first female member of The Jockey Club, changing the face of American horse racing forever.
- RRP £9.99
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Gallop your way to horse riding success with this comprehensive and bestselling handbook. Perfect your equestrian skills with the "Complete Horse Riding Manual". Suitable for horse riders of all ages and all abilities it will guide you through every stage of the riding process from the first time in the saddle to mastering advanced riding skills. Revised and updated to include all the latest techniques and equipment, you'll find everything you need to know about dressage, show jumping, cross country and young horse training as well as how to find and develop your ultimate horse, all presented in spectacular visual detail. Professional tips on mental and physical preparation for both horse and rider from internationally renowned horse trainer, William Micklem, will ensure equestrian excellence - "Complete Horse Riding Manual" is a truly thoroughbred guide.
- RRP £25.00
Geared at acheiving a healthier experience for both rider and horse, this guide to the rider's position focuses on the back and its importance in riding techniques. Addressing a complex interaction that is often overlooked, the book explains how a rider's back - in constant motion when seated on a horse- becomes one of the main channels of communication between horse and rider. Through anatomical lessons and excercises, it also teaches riders how to build stability by positioning their backs in the centre of the horse and improve mobility and control of the back in motion. A detailed training plan shows how to achieve a more effective and attractive riding position and how to deepen the connection between horse and rider.
- RRP £19.99
The true story of three men and their dreams for a racehorse -- Seabiscuit -- that symbolised a pivotal moment in American history, as the 20th-century's greatest nation found the courage to bet on itself to win against the odds. Now a major motion picture directed by Gary Ross and starring Toby Maguire and Jeff Daniels. In 1936 the habits of 19th-century America were finally consigned to history, just as Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind" was published. In their place, modern America was born. But what defined this new era? Nothing more than the story of Seabiscuit, a stunted colt with asymmetrical knees that had for two years been hacked around no-good race tracks leading to permanent leg damage. Yet by 1937 Seabiscuit could draw crowds of 60,000 and had more newspaper column inches devoted to him than Mussolini, Hitler or Roosevelt, his popularity peaking during his appearances at the Santa Anita Handicap. America had gone to the races for the first time since the Depression and fallen in love with a misshapen colt of great character. Now it wanted a winner. 'Seabiscuit' is also the story of three men: Tom Smith, a former Wild West showman was the trainer; Red Pollard, abandoned by his poverty-stricken family at a race track became the rider; and Charles Howard, a pioneer car manufacturer in San Francisco in the 1920s was the owner and financier. These three combined to create the legend of Seabiscuit and epitomise a dream for the emerging new America.
- RRP £10.99
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Would you like to dance with your horse? If the answer to that question is a resounding 'Yes!' then this book will help you do just that. Whether you are a serious competitor, a rider who enjoys schooling their horse for pleasure or someone in between, this book will equip you with the insights, knowledge, tips and training exercises to gymnasticise your horse, show you ways to improve your riding and give you the keys to discovering new levels of connection and performance with your horse - all done with lightness. Whatever style of riding you enjoy, be it jumping, endurance, eventing, polo, trail-riding or dressage, Dressage the Light Way ensures that you will have a lighter, safer, more athletic and responsive ride if you follow the progressive, step-by-step training methods in this book. From the seat and position to balance and collection, or calming the horse to advanced lateral work, every topic is presented in a concise bullet-pointed and numbered format so that the basic essence of each subject is quickly absorbed and understood.
- RRP £22.50
Kauto Star, Nijinsky, Arkle, Desert Orchid, Frankel, Red Rum ...how do you rank the best British and Irish horses from both Flat racing and jumping? How do you compare a fleet-footed sprinter with the robust staying power of a steeplechaser? Robin Oakley's highly personal list will provoke debate among racing fans everywhere. A lifelong devotee of racing and well known as the Turf correspondent for the Spectator, former BBC Political Editor Robin Oakley has made his selection not just on statistics but on the 'fun factor', giving prominence to horses who seized the public's imagination. He brings the legendary names of past and present vividly to life with a wealth of fascinating stories behind their victories. Illuminated by archive photographs that illustrate the athleticism, character and courage of the horses, Britain and Ireland's Top 100 Racehorses of All Time is the perfect gift for any fan of racing and its colourful history.
- RRP £9.99
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This is a fascinating 'inside-out' view of how the horse uses its body, presented by seeing internal systems painted on the outside to explain the complete anatomy of the horse. Gillian Higgins turns her original and highly visual technique of painting internal diagrams directly onto live horses to show the mechanics of horse movement and how it affects its performance and wellbeing. The horse's body can be organised into 11 complex interrelated systems that function efficiently to maintain life. Divided into 11 chapters, the book explains the importance and relevance of each anatomical system. Using high quality photographs and intricate paintings on live horses with top tips and fascinating facts this is the most visually appealing, original and easily understandable book on horse anatomy available.
- RRP £19.99
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Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman on a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. The recent Dutch immigrant recognized the spark in the eye of the beaten-up nag and bought him for eighty dollars. On Harry's modest farm on Long Island, he ultimately taught Snowman how to fly. Here is the dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo. One show at a time, against extraordinary odds and some of the most expensive thoroughbreds alive, the pair climbed to the very top of the sport of show jumping. Their story captured the heart of Cold War-era America-a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all. They were the longest of all longshots-and their win was the stuff of legend.
- RRP £8.99
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Updated paperback edition of the racing book of 2013. For more than four decades the elegant, slightly foppish figure of trainer Henry Cecil had been adulated by racing fans. He handled countless top horses - his 25 English Classics include four Derby winners - and won dozens of big races around the world. But his story is far from a chronicle of unbroken success. A sharp downturn in his racing fortunes in the late 1990s was accompanied by all manner of personal trials, including well publicised marital problems and then cancer, but the dogged manner in which he has climbed back to the top was rewarded in 2011 by the presence in his Newmarket yard of the wonder horse Frankel. Based on extensive research and interviews with those closest to Cecil, it is shot through with Brough Scott's unparalleled inside knowledge of the sport. Long-listed for the W013 William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.
- RRP £10.99
Analyzed by an expert and accompanied by many practical examples, the ancient secrets of classical riding are presented here in a modern way Classical riding, in essence, is correct riding. It is how one should ride every time they get on a horse, and includes not just knowing how to ride, but all around knowledge of the horse as a species. Here, a thorough examination of classical riding is presented through accessible modern day examples. It also includes almost forgotten, yet essential, riding methods--such as the Bugeltritt (the position of the rider's foot in the stirrup) or ridden work with a cavesson. Other concepts include the aims of dressage; the system's essential gymnastic building blocks; breaking down blockades; essential riding skills such as sitting, feeling, and thinking; and the network of aids.
- RRP £39.99
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It is widely accepted in the world of jump racing that Kauto Star is the best steeplechaser since the immortal Arkle half a century ago. The only horse ever to have regained the Cheltenham Gold Cup crown, and a scarcely credible fi ve-time winner of the other classic of the jumps season, the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park, Kauto Star has posted an extraordinary record during eight seasons racing in Britain. But it is what lies behind the statistics which make the Kauto Star story so compelling: the rivalry with stable companion Denman, his next-door neighbour in the Somerset yard of trainer Paul Nicholls; the fallibility expressed in his earlier chasing years by the heart-stopping habit of making at least one major blunder in a big race; the apparently terminal slump in his form as he reached veteran status, which only made the resurrection more glorious. Kauto Star: A Steeplechasing Legend tells that uplifting story as it unfolded through the pages of the Racing Post and the incomparable photographic skills of the Post's photographers, to make a worthy celebration of the life and career of one of jump racing's all-time greats.
- RRP £14.99
This book is about developing that 'perfect understanding'. Whether you practice dressage, hack, event or show, the improvement of your horse through an understanding of 'his' language, should allow him greater ability and confidence in all your work together. The aim of The Balanced Horse is to confirm in people's minds what they should be doing for each request, and what they must avoid. The author abhors the use of force and gadgetry in the schooling of horses and believes classical riding is the best way forward for all the disciplines.
- RRP £25.00
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Britain and Ireland's Top 100 Racehorses of All Time author Robin Oakley takes us on a canter through the colourful world of horseracing. Join him as he shares evocative personal stories of being there at racing legends' key moments, such as Frankie Dettori riding seven winners in a day at Ascot. He debates whether jockeys are sportsmen or masochists - jump jockeys can expect a fall on average every 13 rides - and reminisces about unusual achievements, including trainer Sirrell Griffith's Cheltenham Gold Cup win after milking his 100 cows that morning. Tales From the Turf is an extraordinary account from the Spectator's long-running Turf columnist, and a man for whom horseracing is a lifetime's passion.
- RRP £8.99
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Dressage Solutions covers those important early years where there should be both trust and respect between the horse and rider - without which no good riding can result. Lungeing, backing and the rider's seat are discussed in depth with particular emphasis given to early training and lateral work. A problems and answers section at the end of each chapter looks at solutions for both horse and rider. Illustrated throughout with photographs and diagrams to show correct examples and faults, Dressage Solutions is an invaluable dressage guide for both amateur and competent rider.
- RRP £25.00
Spending days or months correcting bad riding habits or positioning faults in the saddle is not a logical choice in today's fast-paced society, and this timely training manual provides a quick fix for 50 common mistakes. With step-by-step instructions and scores of colour photos, this book describes simple solutions for riding problems that can be completed in 5 minutes or less. Whether troubleshooting, adding polish, or addressing specific issues - e.g. unsteady hands, crookedness, weak seat at the canter, unstable two-point position - comprehensive fixes are presented based on sound bodywork principles from Sally Swift's Centered Riding and Feldenkrais techniques.
- RRP £17.99
Doped is the gripping true-story racing thriller set in Britain in the 1950s and early 1960s. Combining a potent mix of horseracing, drugs, sex, class, crime, gambling and the monarchy, it tells the true story of one of the biggest doping scandals in British racing history. In March 1962 an audacious attempt to nobble one of the royal horses alerted police to a well organised band of racecourse criminals, backed by murderous London gangsters. The subsequent Flying Squad pursuit of the gang brought the quaintly deferential world of racing into sharp conflict with the harsher realities of the 'You've Never Had It So Good' era. This also coincided with the birth of the annual Dick Francis novel. The cast of characters is headed by William Roper, a debonair ex RAF Sergeant turned oddsmaker. His team included an ex jockey, numerous underpaid stable lads, an upper class gambling addict and a violent professional gangster who went on to face charges with the Kray twins in 1969. But the most fascinating member of Roper's firm was a beautiful and self-possessed young Swiss woman called Micheline Lugeon who became the bookmaker's lover and mistress. Short-listed for the 2013 William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.
- RRP £9.99
Richard Hughes, first-time British Champion Flat Jockey in 2012, is not only one of horseracing's most successful and talented riders but also one of sport's most unlikely success stories. In this sensational autobiography, Hughes gives a frank and honest account of a top rider's battle with his own mind and body. Too tall and heavy to be a jockey but too talented a horseman to be anything else, Hughes talks in detail about his life as a top jockey, his descent into prolonged and deep alcoholism, and his constant battle to keep his weight down. Shocking but also uplifting, A Weight off my Mind is the engrossing story of a man who has overcome extreme personal trauma to become a racing superstar. For fans of racing and readers new to the sport, it offers a turbulent ride. Fully updated to include his 2012 season and his record-equalling wins of seven races from the eight-race card at Windsor racecourse. Long-listed for the William Hill Sports Book Award 2012.
- RRP £8.99
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How to use classical dressage, the basis of all other ridden disciplines, to find the best way to ride any individual horse This book explains why and, above all, how to classically train a horse. It explains that riders have to look at each horse as an individual, asking such questions as What problems does he have? How is his natural crookedness expressed? What is his personality like? Classical dressage offers a strategy for bringing each and every horse into balance. Anja Beran wants to preserve this knowledge, which has now almost been lost, and make it available to every interested rider in a practical and comprehensible way. She discusses the exercises and describes how to work through them, before explaining in detail which problems can occur and what can be done about them. Classical dressage is guided by the horse's nature, keeping him healthy and strong and helping him to develop a wonderful and expressive personality. In this way, riding becomes a pleasure for horse and rider.
- RRP £39.99
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The Complete Encyclopedia of Horse Racing tells the story of the "sport of kings" from its earliest inceptions to the present day. It provides essential information on all the top jockeys, from Lester Piggott and Frankie Dettori, to Bill Shoemaker and Michelle Payne, famous horses, their owners and trainers and more than a dozen of the greatest races around the world. In addition, there are features on every facet of racing. This book is the definitive work on "the horses", with every page a visually exciting and information-packed celebration of the sport. It is as invaluable to the fan who follows racing on television as it is for racecourse regulars, administrators and the media.
- RRP £30.00
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Winners: The Horses, The Memories; The Defining Moments documents a host of favourite memories from the world's foremost racing minds. In this collection of interviews, Hugh Cahill uncovers the cherished memories of some of the most prominent figures in Irish horse-racing as they remember eighty of the horses that have featured most significantly in their lives. All the greats are here - Moscow Flyer, Arkle, Synchronised, Flyingbolt, Frankel, Hurricane Fly, Dawn Run, Bobbyjo, Istabraq, Brave Inca, Papillon, Beef or Salmon and Sea the Stars. These are the horses that have shaped horse-racing over the past fifty years and captured hearts around the globe. Beautifully illustrated, Winners: The Horses, the Memories, the Defining Moments includes contributions from Ruby Walsh, A.P. McCoy, J.P. McManus, Willie Mullins, Jessica Harrington, Davy Russell, Paul Carberry and many more. A compelling and heartfelt exploration of what makes these incredible animals so special to the people who knew them best, Winners is a volume to be treasured and an essential book for horse-racing fans everywhere.
- RRP £25.99
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At one point in her life, Dorothy Paget was described by journalist Quintin Gilbey, as 'so much in the public eye that she became, apart from royalty, the best-known woman in the land.' Synonymous with Golden Miller, perhaps the greatest racehorse ever to jump a fence, Paget ploughed fortunes into racing and breeding, buying - despite never visiting - the Ballymacoll Stud in Ireland. She also happened to be the biggest gambler ever to walk the turf. Living an eccentric lifestyle, she would spend most of the day in bed and rise at night, placing bets with bookmakers and their staff, specifically employed for these late night duties. She was even allowed to place bets on races that had already been run the previous day. This is the long overdue telling of the life of an extraordinary, larger-than-life character, of great interest to social historians, racing fans, and to those fascinated by gamblers, gambling, eccentrics and absolute one-offs.
- RRP £25.00
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Remarkable Racecourses is a beautifully presented collection of the world's most striking racecourses. Lavish photographs and informative text show why each racecourse is unique, whether it's the oldest, longest, shortest, most southerly, most northerly, most beautiful or most extraordinary. Among the 70-plus racecourses included are Laytown in Ireland (the only race run on a beach under Turf Club rules), St. Moritz in Switzerland (which takes place on a frozen lake), Pukekohe Park in New Zealand (which is located in the centre of a motor racing circuit), Cartmel in Cumbria (where spectators enjoy the action from the centre of the circuit) and Epsom Downs in Surrey (which is a left-handed, open-ended, horseshoe-shaped course). The book travels across continents, from rural England to Outer Mongolia, to bring you the most astonishing racecourses on the planet. Remarkable Racecourses features more than 70 racecourses including Aintree, Ascot, Baghdad Equestrian Club, Beirut Hippodrome, Birdsville, Cartmel, Champ de Mars, Capannelle, Chantilly, Cheltenham, Chepstow, Chester, Ellerslie, Epsom Downs, Flemington, Goodwood, Hamilton Park, Happy Valley, Hialeah Park, Iffezheim, Kernic Bay, Laytown, Longchamp, Mahalaxmi, Maisons-Laffitte, Meydan, Moonee Valley, Newmarket, Pontefract, Pukekohe Park, Santa Anita, St. Moritz, Tokyo, Turffontein, Woodbine.
- RRP £25.00
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Exhibiting grace and poise as they master the intricate movements of dressage; galloping like the wind at more than thirty miles per hour; soaring over huge competition fences; running tirelessly across every type of terrain - horses are simply stunning athletes. Naturally fleet of foot, they have strength, stamina and intelligence to match. We ask a great deal of these amazing creatures when we ride them in competition, and our horses always deliver. The Sporting Horse is a glorious celebration of the athletic abilities of these beautiful animals, and the unique relationship that has evolved between horse and rider. Working side-by-side for centuries, horse and man have achieved a lasting synergy - and nowhere is that more evident than in the sporting arena. Taking each of the four key sporting characteristics - athleticism, speed, agility and endurance - veteran journalist Nicola Swinney explores how hundreds of years of selective breeding and careful training have developed and refined the horse's natural ability to perform a diverse range of sporting pursuits. From dressage to polo, snow sports to carriage driving, steeplechasing to barrel racing, the book reveals how horse and rider work as one to achieve sporting excellence.
- RRP £24.99
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