BEST Brit at this year’s European Eventing Championships at Blair Castle in Scotland when finishing individual fourth and also claiming a Team Silver medal, Team TopSpec rider Kitty King has been in great form.
1.) Kitty’s training is based upon the Scales of Training which originated in Germany. “Think of a pyramid with rhythm at the bottom, building up to suppleness, contact, impulsion, straightness and finally collection.” This in theory should create a horse which is completely responsive and willingly accepts the rider’s aids.
2.) The key to a good way of going is achieving the basics, “you need to master spring, suppleness and contact.”
3.) Lots of leg yielding and then half pass are used in Kitty’s training to get the horse supple all over his body and easily moving away from the leg.
4.) Always have a plan before you get on any horse. “I have a goal for each session and will only go to a competition knowing I’m fully prepared.”
5.) Get a course of show jumps out on the grass as soon as possible, “I try to get a course out in one of the fields by February so the horses start jumping on grass again and get used to what they’ll face at a competition.”
6.) Pay attention to your own fitness, “It’s no good having a really fit horse if the jockey can’t ride it to its maximum potential. I work on variations of the plank for core strength and shoulder exercises because mine are naturally rounded.”
7.) Make sure you pay attention to detail, “If making changes results in even 1% improvement then it’s worth it.”
8.) Work on grid and pole work over the winter to help develop jumping technique.
9.) It’s important to give the horse a really good experience at a competition, “I don’t go to competitions to train, but to give the horse the best possible experience, regardless of the level it is competing at.”
10.) Finally, work hard, train hard and never give up on your dreams.