Passionate about dressage and classical equestrian ideals, Patrick King seeks the wisdom of the great riding masters- both past and present- and shares this knowledge with his students. Patrick has devoted his life to learning and teaching great horsemanship.
As a youth growing up in western Pennsylvania, Patrick learned to ride with the local 4H group and other organizations where he was exposed to many breeds and disciplines. He competed on the local youth circuit in both western and hunt seat. While still in his teens, he partnered with a number of ‘problem’ horses including an aggressive self-mutilator and a scared mare that reared, leading Patrick to seek something more: real horsemanship. Books by Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance, and others offered him a perspective on understanding horses through psychology and emotions.
Patrick’s hobby developed into a business starting colts and working with challenging horses. His colt starting and problem solving work afforded him opportunities to ride and collaborate with some of the best horsemen and women in the industry including Tom Curtin, Craig Johnson, Richard Winters, Wendy Murdoch, John Lyons, Mary Flood, Guy McLean, Mark Russell, and many more. For several years, Patrick organized a symposium in which top trainers taught and lectured. Patrick was offered the opportunity to spend extended time in Texas learning from master horseman Ray Hunt and his wife Carolyn, with whom he uncovered many layers of feel and timing in his relationship with horses; pieces of which he continues to discover and develop to this day.
To date, Patrick has started well over two thousand young horses under saddle. He has participated in several colt starting competitions, including the Extreme Mustang Makeover with two horses, the Trainers Challenge at The Mane Event in Canada two years in a row, Southern Equine Expo, and the Retired Racehorse Project’s America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred. He has also demonstrated at various expos, including Horse World Expo in Maryland and Pennsylvania and the Midwest Horse Fair in Wisconsin.
Along this journey, Patrick met several dressage trainers including Mark Russell, a student of Master Nuno Oliveira, who brought many new ideas and set Patrick down another path in his horsemanship journey by introducing an understanding of the biomechanics of the horse and the influence that has on feel and timing. By this time, Patrick had worked with hundreds of sport horses bound for dressage careers and he developed a young horse program blending classical dressage and horsemanship. He completed the Western Dressage Association of America’s Train and Trainer program and coached several teams to North American Western Dressage championships.
Patrick’s love of teaching expanded his clinic circuit to 24 states throughout the Midwest, New England, Mid-Atlantic, and the South. While he no longer takes horses in for training, Patrick mentors many young trainers throughout the U.S. who have adopted pieces of his program. Patrick currently takes lessons with Julio Mendoza, an FEI rider based in North Carolina and spends a month each year working with Master Luis Valenca in Portugal, who is widely regarded as the greatest living practitioner of classical dressage in the world today. Patrick has ridden and trained horses in the Grand Prix movements, advanced in-hand work, and haute ecole.
Patrick works collaboratively with many trainers, horsemen, and experts throughout the year in his clinics and his podcast, ‘Talking About Horses’. Sharing his experiences and discoveries fuel the passion that keeps him on the road so many days each year. Patrick enjoys providing solutions for challenges and bridging the gaps between foundation training, advanced horsemanship, and dressage. In addition to teaching lessons, Patrick presents a popular lecture series focused on the rider’s understanding of anatomy as it relates to balance and collection, bridles and bitting, and the classical process of developing the horse.
Patrick provides free education throughout the year for novices and trainers alike through his YouTube channel, mentorship program, articles, podcasts, and instructional commentary on his website and social media pages. He is committed to offering these insights for those who are unable to attend clinics or lessons on a regular basis. In addition to his rider education program, he also gives several clinics each year whose proceeds benefit non-profit organizations. This year, he is working with Heart of Phoenix equine rescue of West Virginia and Ride with Pride therapeutic riding program in his new hometown of Staunton, Virginia.
The journey of horsemanship and classical riding is endless. If you’d like to join us in our journey, follow this link to see when Patrick will be in your area.