Horse behaviourist Richard Maxwell gives insight into training

Renowned Horse Behaviourist Richard Maxwell  gave audiences at Reaseheath Equestrian Centre a fascinating insight into his training methods and philosophies.

Richard, who is a qualified Masterson Method Practitioner, combines a unique blend of natural and traditional horsemanship in order to help horses and their owners. His many clients hail from all equestrian disciplines and include international event rider Sharon Hunt and dressage star Matt Frost.

Richard began his career as a riding instructor in the Household Cavalry where his own introduction to ‘natural horsemanship’ came through a chance meeting with the legendary Monty Roberts.

Easter Bunny (2) by Roy Gadsden

Said Richard:  “In 1988, Monty came to the UK to give a demonstration for the Queen. I gleaned so much from his knowledge and found it  interesting how you could take something from a different  style of equitation, such as western or rodeo, and introduce this into ‘mainstream’ training.”

Richard’s holistic approach has also been inspired by experts in the field of equine physiology such as Andy Andrews and Jim Masterson – founder of the ‘Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork’ system.

Richard explained: “Andy Andrews helped me to appreciate how physiological problems can contribute heavily to behavioural issues. On meeting Jim Masterson, I was able to put a few more pieces into the jigsaw puzzle and I now feel that I have a fuller picture. I can now help horses physiologically as well as through behavioural training.”

In front of a packed house, Richard worked with three very different types of horses ranging from a dressage horse with ‘stage-fright’ to a Welsh cob with loading problems.

Said Richard: “Any demo is only a snapshot and the answer to behavioural problems is never a quick fix. If I can get just one thing right that might help a horse, then the peripheral problems surrounding an issue may start to lessen.”

Read more about Richard’s demonstration here.

Reaseheath audience enjoys top tips from eventer Lucinda Fredericks

Competitors, students and staff were privileged to gain training insights from international three day event rider, trainer and businesswoman Lucinda Fredericks during a lecture demonstration at Reaseheath’s Equestrian Centre.

Lucinda, who formerly competed for Great Britain and now represents Australia, shared her tips for training horses from advanced eventers to children’s ponies.

Lucinda Fredericks with promising eventer EFS Rambo

Lucinda Fredericks with promising eventer EFS Rambo

She drew on successes which include winning three of the world’s six four star FEI events – Burghley, Badminton and Rolex Kentucky – and team silver at the Beijing Olympics 2008 with the charismatic little mare Headley Britannia. She also competed at the 2012 London Olympics with another of her top rides, Flying Finish, and was coach of the bronze medal winning Hong Kong team at the 2014 Asian Games.

Ably assisted by her 12 year-old daughter Ellie and the team from her livery and training yard in Wiltshire, Lucinda demonstrated training methods which could be used at home to prepare for the coming competition season.

Telling her Reaseheath audience that ‘riding is all about timing, feel and balance’, Lucinda used ground poles to shorten and lengthen the trot and canter strides of novice ride Frankie.

She then moved on to promising eventer EFS Rambo, a six year-old  approaching his second season after successfully completing four pre-novice and three one star events. Flatwork focusing on rhythm in all paces was followed by jumping a small course of fences.

It was then the turn of Moorland Oscar, an eye-catching six year-old Dartmoor x Apaloosa, ridden by Ellie and being produced for sale. Lucinda first demonstrated lunging techniques which adults could use to prepare ponies when their young jockeys were unavailable. Ellie then popped Oscar over single fences, culminating in an impressively narrow, single upright barrel which earned them a round of applause.

Grand finale was delivered by Lucinda and her eight-year old stallion Britannia’s Mail (Marley), first son by embryo transfer of Headley Britannia by premier eventing stallion Jaguar Mail. This stunning horse completed nine intermediate events last year with Lucinda alongside his stud duties – a fantastic testament to his temperament and ability.

The event, judged by many visitors as one of the best yet, is one of a regular schedule of informative demonstrations, courses and competitions offered at Reaseheath’s Equestrian Centre.

For more details see

Top tips from leading event rider

One of Britain’s leading event riders, Oliver Townend, gave an inspirational and entertaining lecture demonstration at Reaseheath’s Equestrian Centre.

A former winner of both Badminton and Burghley Horse Trials – Britain’s toughest four star events – Oliver demonstrated how he prepares his young horses for the dressage and showjumping phases by concentrating on achieving forward paces and rhythm.

Riding a five year-old and then an eight year old, Oliver revealed to his audience that the key to building up a horse’s confidence was to sit as still as possible and let the horse think for itself over small but varied fences.

He then demonstrated a more technically demanding course with three star ride Cooley Master Class, who was enjoying his first jump of the season. Oliver has great hopes for this 10 year-old by Ramiro B this season.

Caption: Oliver and Cooley Master Class is pictured with student arena party Rosie Swain, Ella Stephenson, Tyler Simpson, Katie Fearns and Fran Lewis


Dressage dynasty holds masterclass at Reaseheath College

Riding and training enthusiasts had the privilege of watching the world’s most prolific dressage dynasty in action when the Eilberg family gave a masterclass at Reaseheath College’s Equestrian Centre in Cheshire.

A sell out audience watched internationally respected coach Ferdi Eilberg, son Michael, daughter Maria and protégé Greg Sims demonstrate training methods from just backed youngster to grand prix level.

Ferdi is British Dressage’s World Class Director of Coaching and oversees the training schedules of Britain’s top dressage riders as they prepare for major championships. He is also dressage trainer to Ireland’s eventing team and holds an honorary fellowship from the British Horse Society for his services to equestrianism.

Michael enjoyed an early career as a show jumper and has continued to compete at the highest level since changing disciplines. He was a member of the silver medal winning teams at both the World Equestrian Games and at the 2015 European Dressage Championships, and of the bronze medal winning team at the 2013 European Dressage Championships.

Maria is a previous British National Dressage Championships winner and was a member of the silver medal winning team at the 2009 European Dressage Championships.

With the family was Greg Sims, current British Dressage ‘Young Professionals Award’ holder, who completed his apprenticeship with the Eilbergs and is now a permanent member of staff. Greg, who specialises in starting off the young horses, partnered a four year-old gelding, ‘Scirocco’, to enable Ferdi to advise on early training, in particular the importance of allowing young horses time to adjust their balance to the weight of the rider.

Maria, who partnered advanced medium ride ‘T J Benjamin’, showed training progressing through lateral work to collection while Michael, who rode his small tour horse ‘Sa Coeur’ and British team horse ‘Marakov’, demonstrated training for movements up to piaffe and passage.

Members of the audience were so keen to question Ferdi and his team that they were still in Reaseheath’s indoor arena at 11pm!

Reaseheath Equine Event Co-ordinator Heather Cooper said: “Our supporters were delighted to have the chance to watch riders and trainers of such calibre here in Cheshire, and we have since received fantastic feedback.”

Coming up in early 2016: Eventing masterclasses by Oliver Townend and Lucinda Fredericks Check out our dates at 

Reaseheath demo by world class eventer

Eventing enthusiasts had the chance to learn from one of the best cross country riders in the world when Paul Tapner gave a demonstration at Reaseheath College’s Equestrian Centre in Cheshire.

A member of the Australian eventing team and former winner of Badminton Horse Trials, Paul shared his training tips for novice and advanced horses. Riding Counterparty, a seven year-old former racehorse now competing at two star level, Paul demonstrated how consistent schooling over poles and small fences will achieve results with even the sharpest of horses. He also emphasised how important it is for the rider to accurately judge the distance between fences.

Eventer Paul Tapner and Kilronan are joined by Reaseheath equine lecturer James Rayner , Commercial and Resources Manager Zoe Cappaert, Equine Events Co-ordinator Heather Cooper and students Rhianne Edisbury and Kirsty Brasenell

Eventer Paul Tapner and Kilronan are joined by Reaseheath equine lecturer James Rayner , Commercial and Resources Manager Zoe Cappaert, Equine Events Co-ordinator Heather Cooper and students Rhianne Edisbury and Kirsty Brasenell

Counterparty, who ran five times under rules, was the 2015 Elite Eventing Champion for the Retraining of Racehorses (ROR) and is being aimed at three star competitions next year. Paul then partnered his top four star horse, 14 year-old Kilronan, to show how he uses the same principles to prepare his more advanced horses for the competition season.

After answering questions from enthusiastic spectators, Paul said: “It’s been a great evening. Reaseheath’s facilities are excellent and you’ve been a fabulous audience.”

Reaseheath Equine Events Co-ordinator Heather Cooper added: “It was a fantastic coup to have Paul here. We hope our visitors went away having learned something which will help them train their own horses.”

  • Friday December 4 Evening dressage demonstration by British Dressage World Class Director of Coaching Ferdi Eilberg with son Michael and daughter Maria, both successful international competitors. Tickets available from the Reaseheath Online Store.