I can officially check "meeting Mary King" off my bucket list. Sure, it was a short meeting where I mumbled my name and she scribbled it into my copy of her autobiography but listening to her talk for a day and a half at the Area VIII meeting did not disappoint. I just have to add that I think I was the only one that brought my own well-worn copy of her autobiography ..... nevermind the 3 other books I had in the car or the dvds and tapes that I've spent hours and hours watching that I didn't dare bring into the meeting. Stalk much?!:)
She spent all morning on Saturday talking about her life and I felt very inspired by this woman. From finding a way to ride any pony in the county during a poor childhood leading up to a (hopeful!) Olympic contender for the 6th time while raising two children.
The afternoon session consisted of her talking about her training methods including her fitness regime with her horses and her breeding program. I like her no-nonsense approach to training and couldn't find anything to disagree with and found many similarities to the way I've been taught by Jill Sackett and John Hamilton.
The evening speech talked about her quest to her 6th Olympics - a feat that will match only that of Mike Plumb's. With several strong contenders in her stable, including one she's bred and trained herself, I'd be very surprised to not see her on Britain's team this summer. It was very interesting to hear her talk of past Olympics and get the "insider's view" to something that many of us will just dream of.
Sunday morning, we returned for the "virtual clinic" where she viewed DVDs and critiqued them. When we still had time at the end, she generously offered to critique her own riding through YouTube videos, including falls and mistakes, and proved that even those at the top mess up sometimes. She's a humble, charming, funny woman at the top of our sport who should be an inspiration to all.