Richard is a first generation horseman with none of his knowledge being gifted to him. Over 22 years he has worked hard to develop a unique skill set, always striving to understand the whole essence of the horse. He carries strong morals in the training techniques he employs and deplores those who place success before the welfare of the animals in their care.
Riding and Training
Trained by, among others, Mr Ian Silitch, (American show jumper and trainer of Olympic riders) who is renowned for riding horses that other top riders could not manage. Much of Richard’s understanding of horse and rider balance, self carriage and training a horse under saddle he has gleaned from Ian. Almost the polar opposite to training in the ‘American show jump style’ Richard has been coached by a classical riding expert Mr Ken Sudsbury over the last 6 years. Mr Sudsbury was trained in Vienna in the 60’s by the famous instructors of the Spanish Riding School. Richard has also worked on many movie sets and competed in dressage and show jumping and team chasing.
Young Horse Work/Backing
Richard has developed his own unique way of starting young horses under saddle, it shows up other techniques as primitive. It does not involve round pens and chasing away the horse until it stops bronking neither does it involve endless hours on the lunge or ‘crash test dummies’. It does involve over 20 years of study and understanding resulting in young horses that are relaxed and confident in their work which move forward freely with natural rhythm and good mouths.
Fixing Broken Horses
The rehabilitation of mentally and physically damaged or poorly trained horses is now Richards main passion and his skill in this area is perhaps what separates him most from his peers. Richard has studied the techniques of many different horsemen and therapists and it is a sad reflection on the horse world of today that Richard rejected outright some of the most popular. However Richard credits 2 therapists that have helped to shape him and it must be said that neither of them profited from giving their time, knowledge and energy. The first was Mr Geary Whiting of California, an expert in Shiatsu the second being Dr Ray Smith of England an expert in treating back pain in horses and a true Romany who coached Richard in techniques that are rarely shared beyond their own community. Most of his skills he credits as having learnt straight from the horses. He is thoroughly versed in all aspects of ground working horses since these skills are as important as those learnt in the saddle. He has trained horses of all ages for clients in America, Europe and Asia and regularly brings horses back to full work that have been written off by other leading professionals.
In 1997 He trained with Mr Steve Sampson, Americas foremost equine dentist. Understanding how the dentition of horses affects their training, behaviour and condition is a skill few trainers have acquired.
Badly made and fitting saddles are the cause of many problems Richard deals with. Richard works with one of the leading saddle makers in the UK to help provide solutions for horses and riders.
Feet and Trimming
Over the last 6 years Richard has taken seriously the option of keeping his horses barefoot. He now competes in teamchase and show jumping sans shoes. We give our clients the choice of our highly skilled farrier or our barefoot trimmer. Recently the lovely Linda Chamberlain of the Naked Horse blog did an interview with me about Troy and our barefoot team chasing exploits, have a read here
Lectures and Clinics
All Richard has learned, he endeavors to pass on to others for the benefit of their horses and to help foster better horse owner relationships.
Richard regularly competes at British Show jumping shows up to 1.20m with his own Its My Heart.
Richard competes with the Dapper Dobins with his horse Battle of Troy, this season they move up to inter level.
Driving and grooming turnouts up to 4 in hand at 3-day events and coaching classes including at Royal Windsor and for Harrods of London.