Marie Hecart : SPIRITUALITY AT THE END OF THE HOOVES

Marie, did being the daughter of a professional serve you in your riding career ?
Yes, it helped a lot. My father Michel is a horseman and I really learned with him. My father and my mother-in-law Alexandrine own a stud, the stud of La Roque in Calvados and at the time that I lived there, there were about 150 horses so I had the opportunity to ride many young horses. I took care of the breaking up, I started the 4, 5 and 6 years. It was a huge chance to ride so many different horses: small, large, whole, mares, horses by the blood… That taught me enormously.

Why did you choose to move to the USA instead of continuing to evolve within the family structure ?
I had done the tour a little bit: I was trained in the stud with the young horses and on the competitions in the Grand Prix national and CSI2 and 3* in France and in Europe but I felt like I was stagnating a bit. I wanted to discover something else and also to prove to myself that I was able to live from my passion by my own means, to create my own name and my own experience and so I decided to go abroad.

Abroad, what was your background ?
I spent a little more than 3 years in the stables of Eric Lamaze and I really discovered the American system.
I then decided to set up my own business in the USA and brought back horses to market. I have been coaching with many students and I was also lucky enough to have myself De Brève, a very competitive mare and with whom I started to compete in the CSI5* Grand Prix and Nations Cup.

Can you tell us a little bit more about Myself ?
I started riding Myself when she was 4. She made a foal at 5 years old then I did the Classic Cycles in France at 6 years with her. I then went to the USA and she stayed for 3 years at The Stud Farm of La Roque, built by my father Michel. When I started my business in the USA, she joined me there. It was really the mare who launched my career as a rider in the Big 5 * competitions and the Nations Cups and she gave me my first victory in a Grand
Prix World Cup in Wellington in 2015. Myself is a very small mare that measures 1m57 but with a big heart and a lot of respect. It gave me all the
confidence to jump without limits all the major world prices.

Is there a difference between American and European horse riding ?
I want to say that in the USA, there’s not really livestock. The riders begin to ride in the Hunter and Equitation events with trained horses, which gives them a very good position, very good technical bases and a very good style. In France, we have very good breeding and the riders are used to riding young horses but there is not really a school dealing with style, the treadmill contract, the horse’s attitude so they learn to ride more to the edge.

What’s your key to having a super connection to your horses ?
I like to spend time with my horses to get to know them. I like to watch them at the paddock, at the box, at the loin or mounted. It is very important for me to observe them on a daily basis in order to be able to distinguish the times when they are at the top and those when they are sometimes less in shape. I want to create a special relationship with my horses.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you manage to outdo yourself ?
It was to make the decision to go to the USA, to adapt to the culture of this country and mainly, to learn English because I didn’t really speak it before leaving!

What’s your daily routine at the stables ?
I want my horses to be as happy as possible, so I’m glad they can go out all day. They go out to the paddock as much as possible, do a walking session for 30 to 45 minutes before I ride them and try to get the work done according to each two.
In France, we have the forest next to the stud, the horses trotting there and a lot of flat work. I don’t jump very often, Jeff does gymnastics. Always try to keep my horses in good mental and physical condition.

What is the importance of the team in achieving success ?
The team is very important! The grooms, the Horsemen, The Blacksmith, the osteopath, the vet who work with me are key elements who must communicate with each other and adjust with one another. My vet lives in the USA but he comes to Europe to follow my horses and my farrier who lives in France comes to the USA to train them. I want to keep the same team and work with people I trust over the long term.

What is your favorite thing about your sport ?
The horse!!!

Do you have another passion and time to satisfy it ?
I don’t have too much time for myself but I also love to travel. I like to discover new countries, new cities with different cultures and whenever possible, I give myself to the discovery.

In 2019, what is your program ?
Today, I have between 20 and 25 horses at work. The horses of my pupil Rogelio Pellerano stay with me throughout the year and I have young horses that my riders ride in competition. I also have my Cenwood delle Lame and Vahinée head horses with which I will compete in international competitions. Follow….

Photos : Juan Lamarca – Elena Lusenti – Scoopdyga

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