Mary King’s clinic at Morven Park, hosted by Kelly Gage of Team EnGaged Clinics wrapped up yesterday with the various groups doing a bit of jumping. Although there were just a handful of jumps being used, Mary came up with several exercises that focused on accuracy and sharp communication rather than using a long course.
The USEA posted a great recap of the clinic, in which Mary emphasizes the two primary responsibilities of the rider: effectiveness as a rider and having a horse that is responsive to the leg. Mary highlighted the importance of being methodical and precise in what riders asked their horse, as consistency was the best formula for success later down the road.
Mary used a triple combination to test riders, asking them to jump just the first and last jumps, swinging around the middle fence using smooth turns. She also had the riders jumping the middle fence on a figure eight, another exercise that would tattle if the riders did not have a responsive enough horse or if they were not utilizing their position enough.
Mary also used a barrel in between two standards as a skinny fence and an airy corner along with a bounce to help riders work on getting their horses on their hind end and responding to leg aids. It’s interesting to observe how much adjustablity comes into play, even with just a few fences to get over.
Thanks to Valerie Durbon, our eyes on the ground, we’ve got four minutes of video footage that shows many of the exercises Mary implemented yesterday:
Mary will be teaching her second stateside clinic this weekend in Midway, Ky., and we’re sure it will be a wonderful learning experience for all who are riding and auditing. If you are in attendance, you can send us your reports, photos, and videos at [email protected].
Many thanks to Valerie Durbon for contributing her wonderful photos from this week’s clinic.