Star rider inspo

Posted 6th January 2020

Eventing stars Mary King and Chris Burton show you their fave exercises

Mary King riding a flatwork pole exercise

If you’re looking to improve your pony’s paces or jump more clear rounds, who better to help than eventing stars Mary King and Chris Burton! They’ve shared some of their fave exercises to give you some inspo for your schooling sessions, and help you achieve your riding goals in 2020!

Mary King’s exercise: tick tock clock

Poles make schooling extra fun, and Mary says using them on a circle’s great for improving your fave pony’s balance and suppleness. If you love jumping, this exercise will help you to meet fences on the perfect stride, too.

Riding exercise using poles in clock layout

Set it up

Imagine a 20m circle’s the face of a clock, and place a pole at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock. Leave enough room between the fence and the end of each pole, so you can ride around them as well as over them.

How to ride it

  1. Pop your pony into canter and make sure he’s going forward in an energetic, bouncy pace.
  2. When you’re ready, turn onto your 20m circle and choose a pole to start with. Ride over the middle of it, but go round the outside of the other three.
  3. Now ride another 20m circle, this time going over your first pole and the one on the opposite side of your circle. Go round the other two.
  4. Then add in another pole, so you’re riding over three and missing out one. Finally, ride over all four poles.
  5. Count how many strides your pony’s taking between each pole – if he’s staying in a rhythm it’ll be the same each time. Depending on your pony’s size, he should take three or four strides between them.
  6. Give him a breather, then have a go on the other rein.

In association with

Pick up a copy of March PONY mag for more great exercises from eventing legends Mary King and Chris Burton, on sale 15 January.

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