Mary meets royalty and tells us of her plans for the month ahead

Mary King's month has gone to plan, despite the snow attempting to stop play, and she tells us all about preparing her horses for the season ahead, meeting royalty and her plans for the next month in her latest blog...

"January has gone very smoothly, we have been lucky enough that despite having some snow it wasn't enough to effect the horse's work. The roads have all been clear so we could hack out as planned meaning they are not behind in their fitness preparation. The younger horses started to play around in the arena about 3 weeks in to January with some pole work and little jumping exercises, we then took them over to Bicton for a schooling session towards the end of the month. I prefer to do this as their first outing rather than a competition and always choose the day after a competition so the course is still built, then I can take a lorry load over and potter about and take our time. I find that one day like that prepares them for going to jump in a class. We then took them to The Hand over the weekend just gone (3rd February) to do some affiliated British Showjumping classes, the younger horses did the British Novice and Discovery and the Novice horses did the bigger classes. All of them went beautifully, including a new mare that I bought from Ireland called Kings Choice (Lottie) - she has been bought by a local syndicate and is a half sister to Imperial Cavalier - she is lovely and is a really good jumper so I am looking forward to seeing her progress. We also have a new horse for Jill Jonas, who owned Apache Sauce. As soon as I heard that he was a big Chestnut with a white face I thought of her - he is called Peter so watch this space for more news about him."

"We were invited up to Clarence House by Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall in January for a reception - they invited all the Olympic Equestrian team and owners and it was lovely to meet her and see the area - it certainly kept the Olympic spirit going! Meanwhile Emily had a great time at Kyra Kyrklund's yard - she was there for 4 weeks and half way through I took Mr Hi Ho and Miss Indigo up and returned with her two youngsters as we thought two weeks of dressage was enough for them! I watched Emily have a lesson and noticed a big change in her position - she was really sitting like a dressage rider. So when I picked her up at the end of the month I took Imperial Cavalier up to have a 'position lesson' as I saw how much it had helped Emily. It was really interesting to hear all their tips on how to sit correctly and help the horse to move at its best. Now Emily is home and having just turned 17 years old she has just had her very first driving lesson - she can't wait to pass her test!"

"We are off for a short skiing holiday in February when Freddie is on half term and then as soon as we return it will be a full on month. Hopefully we will be out cross country schooling providing the weather is kind, I also have a few Ferdi (Eilberg) sessions booked in and will be going to William Fox Pitt's yard for show jumping training with Peter Murphy - and that will be February over in a flash! The first weekend in March is supposed to be the start of the event season but it is very wet so fingers crossed for a dry spell!"