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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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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Carl Hester is one of the greatest ever equestrians, leading Great Britain to Gold Medal victory at the London 2012 Olympics. In these vibrant memoirs, he tells the incredible story of the passion for horse-riding which revolutionised his life and made him the champion he is today. Carl grew up on the remote Channel Island of Sark, moving to the UK mainland at the age of 16 to work with horses, mainly as a way to leave home. He could never have predicted what a great affinity he would have for dressage. Carl's career enjoyed a stratospheric rise as he progressed from working as a groom/rider to riding international dressage horses full time for renowned owners Dr and Mrs Bechtolsheimer, to training his own horses, and other top riders, to international success. Carl's early career revealed someone capable of monumental achievements. He provides a rare insight into both the people and the horses that drove him to victory, initially the skewbald mare Jolly Dolly on which he won the 1985 Young Riders Dressage Championship. During the early 1990s he rode in the World Championships, the European Championships and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, becoming Great Britain's youngest ever rider to compete in the Games. His riding skills have increased with age, culminating in the hugely successful years as part of the Gold Medal teams that won the 2011 European Dressage Championships and, of course, that made history at London 2012. He achieved both feats on the same extraordinary horse, Uthopia, while as a trainer he produced the even more remarkable combination of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. A first-class sportsman and a witty and engaging writer, Carl now offers his admirers the opportunity to read an intelligent, humorous and, above all, inspiring account of his life - from the ups and downs of his career to the motivations and techniques which have helped him to win 66 national titles, represent Team GB at four Olympic Games, two World Championships and seven European Championships, and become one of the best riders - and horsemen - in the world.
- RRP £20.00
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
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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The focal point of interest in this fascinating and beautiful book by one of the leading authorities in his field is the art of driving for pleasure and the relationship between man, the carriage, and the driving horse. It begins by investigating the emergence of the elegant carriage in Italy and then describes the development of the art of driving in 17th and 18th century France. It follows the development of the perfection of driving for pleasure in England and Germany during the 19th and 20th centuries, commencing with the modern sport of competitive driving as we know it today. Various driving techniques are discussed, as are the different styles of harness and methods of harnessing up in Europe, and includes the development of the driving bit and the special rein systems. Traditional driving as it is known today and the various questions as to how to turnout correctly -- which carriage suits, which type of horse, and on what occasion -- are dealt with in the last chapter of this book which provides solid answers.
- RRP £166.99
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The Academic Art of Riding is based on the knowledge of the old riding masters, such as Xenophon, Pluvinel, and Steinbrecht. It is rooted in the belief that one must train one's horse not only physically, but also mentally, according to the motto: "Two spirits who want to do what two bodies can". Fine communication with the horse as a partner is not only the way to accomplish this, but also the result. The described gymnastic exercises are made to build up the horse and keep it healthy. With this book, the ambitious leisure rider gets introduced to the Academic Art of Riding. Starting with the horse's basic training and work in hand, the reader also gets insight into lateral movements, piaffes and exercises above ground. Furthermore, methods for training and physiotherapy for horses in need of correction, as well the correct seat of the rider, are described.
- RRP £33.99
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A top-class team has formed to honour the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and the Piber Federal Stud with a sumptuous volume on the occasion of their anniversary: Elisabeth Gurtler, Director of the Spanish Riding School, presents the excellence and the unique character of this institution and its rich tradition. The internationally renowned photographer Rene van Bakel has captured the Lipizzaners through the years from birth to their demanding training and the glamorous performances. Sports journalist and horse enthusiast Arnim Basche interweaves expert knowledge and emotion in his texts. And multi-award-winning publisher Edition Lammerhuber - elected Photography Book Publisher of the Year 2014 - provides the elegant design for the book to match both the theme and the occasion.
- RRP £55.00
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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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Beckhampton celebrates the kaleidoscope of men, money and horses linked to one of Britain's oldest and greatest racing stables: Beckhampton, on the Wiltshire downs. The story reveals how an isolated coaching inn morphed into a top training yard, home to some 40 Classic winners. The cast of characters roam from the magistrate who sat in judgement on his own prosecution for disorderly behaviour, to the undergraduate who arrived at university with a string of horses and 2,000 bottles of port; from the jockey who was commandeered by Lord Palmerston to ride to a Channel port to collect a peace treaty, to the champion wrestler who became a gin baron and the owner of Classic-winning racehorses. Add Royalty and household names like Sir Gordon Richards, the 26-times champion jockey, and you have a brilliantly-researched book to delight anyone with an interest in the Sport of Kings.
- RRP £25.00
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