George Morris clinic - a few questions!
I've signed up for a clinic with George Morris when he comes here to Ontario in October. My mare, Tea, and I will be doing a one-day, two-hour 3' hunter section with him, and the clinic is now getting close enough for me to start dithering over details!
Tea is a bit green for her age, but is a good girl with a good foundation - I think (as long as my butterflies don't flap into hyperspeed!) she'll be fine for what he asks of us. I've watched a number of his videos on line and gone through his books again to make sure that we can at least do the basics of his favourite exercises - before we signed up for the clinic, for example, I don't know if I'd jumped many bounces with this horse. GM seems to really like his bounces, so I've made sure that she's now pretty darn comfortable with them.
I do have some questions about turnout for his clinics though, as I really don't want to be the one who sets off a turnout lecture that cuts into riding time! I do turn my horses out well, I think, but am more worried about committing a cardinal sin in the details (i.e. if the soles of my boots aren't polished!). Is George alright with synthetic girths? Mine will be clean, clean, clean, and I would prefer to use it over a leather one, as Tea is a bit sensitive, skin-wise, at times and will be freshly clipped.
I know Mr. Morris prefers conservative turnout, but would it be alright to wear brown boots and a brown GPA? If it would be safer to wear black, I do have black boots and a charcoal GPA that I can use instead.
The clinic organizer was initially going to arrange braiding for all the hunter sections, but has since scrapped that idea as he was finding it too difficult to get it all set up. Does GM like his hunters braided for clinics? If so, I can certainly do my own and look quite presentable, but I also don't want to be the only pretentious one that's braided... Especially if I then go do something like promptly fall off! ;)
I rarely ride with a stick or spurs at home, and my mare is really good off the leg. My plan is to carry a stick, but to just have someone hold the spurs at ringside in case he insists I need them. Does this sound alright? I've also heard rumours that he occasionally asks for bit changes - Tea goes nicely in a mullen mouth D with a slight rise in the middle (to comfortably accommodate her short teeth and big tongue), but is it good practice to bring a few spares? If so, what are his go-to bits?
Does anyone who's ridden with him have any other tips, suggestions or words of wisdom? Am I just really overthinking this out of nerves as the clinic gets closer??? I guess what it comes down to is that I don't mind a lecture as to how I ride or how my horse goes, but I don't want to be on the receiving end because of something that's easy to fix before I even get to the ring. Any thoughts will be much appreciated.