Whisperer visit to Borders festival a coup

Richard Maxwell
Richard Maxwell

Horse behaviourist Richard Maxwell will give his only demonstration in Scotland this year in the Borders.

The visit is a coup for the renowned Borders Festival of the Horse and will see the successful natural horseman demonstrate and pass on skills and solutions to horse-related problems at Nenthorn later this month.

On his website, the expert says: “I will hopefully be working with a loading problem, a schooling problem and also groundwork with an unbacked youngster, so something for everyone.”

The ex-military riding instructor was introduced to natural horsemanship whilst in the Household Cavalry and the former competitive eventer and showjumper spent many years exploring it.

“After nearly 20 years I have developed a process that is a mix of the best of natural horsemanship and traditional horsemanship, “ he says on his website.

Horsewoman Polly Fraser, who has seen ‘Max’ before, is organising the visit for the festival.

She said: “You watch some experts who are amazing, but you go away feeling inadequate, but when you see Richard Maxwell, you go away thinking ‘I could do this’.”

His demonstration will be at Nenthorn Equestrian Centre, near Kelso, on Monday, May 27, in the evening.

“He wanted it to be small and to be able to talk to his audience. He’s a fantastic communicator, both with the horse, and with people. His methods are so hands-on and user-friendly,” said Polly.

“There will be plenty of opportunity for people to ask questions. He loves talking about what he does.”

The tickets, which will be sold on a first-come first-served basis, are available from Polly on 01835 862501 or pollyafraser@live.co.uk

Some of the festival’s popular perennials are back: the well-subscribed guided rides; a car boot sale; an evening with heavy horses at Gilmanscleuch, Ettrick; horse logging; and the grand competition day at Newtown St Boswells.