Neue Schule Ambassador Allison Springer and MR Sydney Rocks at the Mary King clinic (Photos courtesy of Valerie Durbon Photography)
Leesburg, Virginia (December 1, 2014) — For six-time Olympian Mary King, the way that riders use their minds is just as important as the way they use their legs, hands, and bodies in the saddle. The acclaimed eventer of Devon, England recently brought her riding philosophies and expertise to Leesburg, Virginia, where she held a two-day eventing clinic. Metlar, the United States distributor of the cutting-edge Neue Schule (pronounced ‘noy-uh shool-uh’) bits, was a sponsor of the event in an effort to help riders develop a deeper understanding of their sport through King’s teachings. The company was also eager to support Morven Park, a school that Metlar founder Mette Larsen attended. Novice through advanced horse-and-rider teams benefitted from the discipline and techniques they were taught, and also had the exciting chance to win a Neue Schule bit throughout the clinic.
“If you are beautifully in balance and stay nice and quiet and soft, that is going to make your horse feel much more confident,” King explained to her students at the chilly late-autumn event. The group spent November 20-21 at Morven Park in Leesburg working towards achieving that complete balance. Neue Schule bits are specially designed to help a wide variety of horses with different mouth conformations to complete that balance. The clinic was hosted by Kelly Gage of Team EnGaged. Neue Schule is happy to have been a part of the clinic, including awarding one of its top-quality bits to a clinic attendee. Neue Schule Ambassador Allison Springer brought her new horse MR Sydney Rocks to the clinic, and feels that the clinic helped prepare them for an exciting future.
King shared the strategies that she has used to earn her two World Championship Gold Medals and Silver and Bronze Olympic medals. The eventer stressed the importance of choosing role models in the professional equestrian world to imitate. “Have a picture of them in your mind and try and copy how they ride,” she said. “I’ve progressed a lot by doing that. I would trot around at home while I’m schooling my horse, and pretend that I was Carl Hester. I’ll picture him in my mind — how beautiful and tall and straight he sits, how nice and still his hands are, his lower leg position.”
With helpful analogies and insistence on spending time on perfecting maneuvers, King guided riders on the flat and through a four-jump course. “Picture the canter like a bouncy ball,” she suggested. “Now if you’re dribbling that bouncy ball and you want it to go higher, you’re not going to bounce faster; you’re not going to bounce it slower; you’re going to bounce it stronger. This is the same for canter work — you must obtain a stronger, punchy stride.”
King spent time with riders from every level teaching the importance of “bread and butter work.” She explained that even advanced riders should continuously practice beautiful transitions and always take time to warm up and relax their horses. Riders left the clinic with a refreshed view of how to improve and work as a team with their equines. “I had a great time — everyone was so welcoming, and I was impressed with the quality of horses,” King smiled.
Neue Schule is grateful to the champion rider for giving back to the equestrian community through her clinic. Teaching the skill of effective riding is valuable to Neue Schule, which manufactures comfortable bits that improve the communication between horse and rider. The company offers bits of different sizes that address horses’ specific issues such as being behind the bit, raising the head, and having a small mouth. To learn more about Neue Schule bits, visit www.NeueSchuleBitsUS.com or call 631-252-5574.
Contact: Doreen Kula
Metlar – Neue Schule Bits