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It feels wrong that cavalry whose intention was not purely to intimidate with the threat of a physical clash with the sword can ‘walk/trot’ into close combat at will, whereas a unit whose training and raisond’etre was to close, has to take a test and stands a fair chance of sitting around studying its nails.

Yes, it is a problem.  Testing by brigade only changes the odds slightly towards the Royalist Horse – they are still at a fair disadvantage.  As written, the Royalist Horse need to win the ranged combat by 2 points to give them at least an even chance of success in the close combat – if they charge shaken, then the odds are firmly in favour of the Parliamentary Horse.  The Royalist player can only do two things to influence that success: have an officer lead it in person, and charge downhill on a steep slope.

Thanks for the clarification on Brooke’s horse – I note the army generator in the rules only seems to allow Dutch tactic trained Parliamentary Horse – even in the Naseby list – seems a bit odd for the Ironsides?

Maybe – I will leave that to those more expert than me.  In the rules as written, the Ironsides are much better off as they are haha!  The only thing that I have been told is that the Horse of Fairfax’ army should fight as Swedish-trained Horse.