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January 5, 2010

Day 1 At The George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Clinic

Meet Theo Boris, our newest blogger. This junior rider from Los Angeles, Calif., made a name for himself last year when he won the Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search-West, and this year he's got even bigger goals in mind. Follow Theo to Wellington, Fla., where he's just begun the George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Clinic.

After arriving on Sunday, the second of this new year, I anxiously awaited the first day all of the riders would get together and the start of the clinic!

I love traveling everywhere, to all sorts of new places. Traveling by car, by bus, by plane, by rocket, by elephant or by goat. Traveling is an amazing thing that allows us to become more cultured and more open minded.

Growing up, and in my earlier stages of showing, I had always been passionate about horses. However, now as I progress and see different things, my passion and love for the sport is expanding to a level I would have never imagined.

Horses are the most beautiful animals in the world, and the fact that we devote ourselves and wake up at the crack of dawn to fully understand them is a miraculous thing. The journey to become a better rider doesn't merely mean riding, riding, riding. It means working with the horse, integrating, adapting yourself to the horse. It's a long process, which ultimately never stops. That is why there are still top riders today in their later years (not saying they are old, key word being later!), such as Michel Robert and Ian Millar to name a few.

By winning the Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search-West, I received a rare opportunity to ride with U.S Chef d'Equipe George Morris for one week. After all the waiting and anticipation, the first day of learning has already begun.

Monday, January 4, 2010, and yes I mean 2010!

The day began by settling all of the horses in and setting up camp. All the riders participating in the clinic, including myself, will be grooming our own horses all week long. We'll be learning about horse management, but even beyond that, a level above which is horse mastership. The idea is to create riders that will be self sufficient, independent and sharp. Sharpness will be required, as we are expected to care, and look after each meticulous detail of each one of our horses. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock...

OK, finally, after everything was set up, we all got dressed and cleaned up to go to a little soirée. At the dinner reception there was a pool of Olympic riders and trainers. Sorry Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods and Britney Spears, but I only get star struck when I see people that have created an enormous amount of success for themselves. Those who had the minds to stand out—they had the ambition and confidence to get where they are. I have great respect for those like George Morris (and my trainer Karen Healey), who didn't get to be a great horseman by sitting around and watching others pick up the slack.

All the riders were introduced, and George gave a lovely speech that focused on reestablishing the American style. He said the American style is a combination of European and American, as taught by the great Bertalan de Némethy, a Hungarian rider who came to the United States and brought his technique and the technical mentality, which was the key ingredient to the long illustrious American career to come.

Finally, we all said our goodbyes for the night, and tomorrow we look forward to a wonderful day of flat work and horse management with Anne Kursinski beginning at 6:30 a.m.

Until tomorrow,
Theo