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George Morris clinic - a few questions!

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  • #21
    I've also heard that no matter you choice for tack make sure you have a reason for it. He may not like it but if you have a *legitimate* reason and not an excuse for using it he can take it.

    Comment


    • #22
      Side note: Did anybody notice the spelling for this clinic on his website? Just took a peek and it says "Onterio" - hehe.

      I will be bookmarking this in case I can ever find a way to convince him to come further east... though I'm thinking I may just have to hope he goes somewhere in New England and make the trek down.

      Comment


      • #23
        He will not care about brown boots and helmet.

        He will want you to come with spurs and a crop...WEAR YOUR Spurs. if he decides you dont need them, he will take them off. NEVER have I seen him take a stick away, spurs, yes. I see him in every clinic make everyone have spurs on to start...sometimes the rider only makes it 10 mins with the spurs then he has them taken off.

        No need to braid. just a nicely pulled mane that lays down flat.

        CLEAN horse, CLEAN tack, CLEAN rider, CLEAN boots.

        Listen, listen, listen. try, try, try.

        Do the above and you will be golden. He only gets really irritated if he has to repeat himself. Also, watch the others, if someone does it right, or is complimented- copy them. if someone does it wrong, DONT DO THAT!
        "If you are nervous you arent focused-if you are focused, there is no room for nerves!"

        Comment


        • #24
          Have a great time. I was supposed to ride in this clinic also but my horse got injured a few weeks ago and will not be ridable by then. So, disappointed but still going to audit.

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by bhrunner06 View Post
            CLEAN horse, CLEAN tack, CLEAN rider, CLEAN boots.

            Listen, listen, listen. try, try, try.

            Do the above and you will be golden. He only gets really irritated if he has to repeat himself. Also, watch the others, if someone does it right, or is complimented- copy them. if someone does it wrong, DONT DO THAT!
            Words to live by in many situations!

            Comment


            • #26
              Nothing to add that is different from what everyone else said, just wanted to wish you luck! I rode in his clinic in Virginia today and it was a great experience. I took my green 5 year old mare and we ha a blast - even with a ton of mistakes, I felt like we both learned a lot.
              "A canter is the cure for every evil."

              Comment


              • #27
                No need to braid. I can't imagine brown boots/helmet being an issue, just make sure there is no "bling" anywhere on you.

                I would wear a small spur (or he will tell you to put one on) and carry a stick. I'd go with a plain leather girth. unless it would really make your horse unhappy. He will comment on anything else.

                Stick with plain Fillis stirrups if you can. And no happy mouth bit.

                Make sure everything is extremely clean and have a friend wipe the bottom of your boots after you get on.

                And listen carefully to everything he says, and watch the other riders, and try to do everything that you are told. He is not an ogre. Most snide comments that I have seen him make seemed more tongue in cheek than anything. You should learn a lot and have a great time!

                Comment


                • #28
                  Possibly a stupid thought, and really more of a question to those in the know, but I haven't seen (I don't think) anyone mention matching your spur strap to your boot. If you are wearing brown boots, shouldn't you have brown spur straps?
                  Originally posted by The Saddle
                  Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Rustbreeches... Yes- they should match.
                    "If you are nervous you arent focused-if you are focused, there is no room for nerves!"

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Just wanted to chime in bc I just got home from his clinic in MD, and I really think it was the best one I have ever been to (and I've been to a lot). The groups were fantastic this year, which certainly helped, but he was friendly yet tough, he worked hard to remember your name and information about your horse as well as who your instructor is. There were a lot of pros, which is awesome, I always love seeing professionals who work to improve themselves.

                      Notes:
                      He wore brown tall boots
                      He forgot to put a helmet on once, but put it on immediately after realizing
                      He lives off of V8 and coca cola
                      He will love your horse if it is forward and bold, and especially if it's a TB (there were quite a few at this clinic and they did fantastically)
                      If you really listen, he will praise you, no matter your skill level
                      Plain stirrups! Bendy ones are worse than black
                      If you hold a horse while he mounts, hold the reins near the bit, but not the bit
                      He doesn't care about boots/polos/martingales unless they are illfitted or dirty
                      Don't let your horse sniff him when he comes to adjust you
                      He has a good sense of humor (really!)
                      He knows he's funny

                      That's all I can think of right now, but you will love it, he's the best for a reason.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        One tiny detail that just popped into my head.

                        If your horse requires a breastplate and a martingale, use both, NOT a martingale attachment on the breastplate.
                        http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

                        Originally Posted by JSwan
                        I love feral children. They taste like chicken.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by MyGiantPony View Post
                          One tiny detail that just popped into my head.

                          If your horse requires a breastplate and a martingale, use both, NOT a martingale attachment on the breastplate.
                          What's his reasoning for this?
                          .

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
                            What's his reasoning for this?
                            The attachments can't be adjusted to function properly. I happen to agree.
                            http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

                            Originally Posted by JSwan
                            I love feral children. They taste like chicken.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Here's a quick article my 14yr old daughter wrote after riding with GM the first time in 2010 (includes comments on listening, spurs, and more):


                              If you are a rider, you have undoubtedly heard of the infamous George Morris. From his reputation as one of the most well-known teachers of hunt-seat equitation, to his many books and the high-profile equitation championships that he has judged around the world, his name alone brings fear to the modern English rider.
                              George Morris’s famously harsh teaching style has left many a rider shaking in their boots, and even the toughest of them have been knocked down by his words. After getting the opportunity to ride with him in December 2010, I proudly present you with a list of the Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Riding with George Morris:
                              • Dress well: No matter what, you are putting on a show when you are riding. As many have read in his articles and books, he believes that attire should be neat, clean, and always using classic, practical tack. Much like Pony Club, he believes that you don’t have to have the most expensive equipment out there, so long as it is clean, well cared for, and it is what works best for you and your mount.
                              • SUFFER!!!!! As he told us at the clinic, “I don’t care that it’s cold, I don’t care that you have been sitting here for hours, and I don’t care that you are hungry! If you love something, you will do whatever you can to learn more and better yourself. That is what I have been doing my entire life! It doesn’t matter if I am too hot, or too cold, or too hungry, I keep going, because I love it.”
                              • Always listen: Even when he and his assistant are riding horses, always be listening and watching. One of the highlights of the clinic was watching him get on the different horses, and seeing them improve over the short time that he rode. It was incredible to see him, at his age (72), get on a new horse and ride them for a short amount of time, riding them better than their owner. He would often quiz people, asking them what they had learned, and questioning them about why he was doing something. Thinking on your feet was a good attribute.
                              • Don’t take shortcuts: He believed that riding is about true horsemanship, and you can’t just take the easier route to get there. That means that you can’t just use a different saddle to make your position perfect, you can’t just get a horse on the bit using draw reins, or achieve your goal by tricks. No contraption can replace good riding, and sometimes you have to work from the ground up. True horsemanship is the only way to get what you want from horses, you have to do it using the basics, and it is a lifelong pursuit.
                              • Watch others ride: The biggest part of the clinic was learning from other’s mistakes. If another girl got six strides in the five-stride line, then you had better not make the same error. If a rider dared to repeat a mistake, his favorite line was “She’s not really very bright, is she?” But you might be praised for making sure that you didn’t make the same mistake. “That’s a thinker!” He exclaimed after watching one girl correct the mistakes that were made earlier. He didn’t get mad if you made one mistake, but you needed to fix it fast, and not repeat the same thing.
                              • Have and not need, not the other way around: This is one of the famous quotes of George Morris. Always use a running martingale, just in case your horse throws its head, always wear spurs, and always carry a crop. Although I was riding a horse described as “steer-able dynamite,” I was required to wear spurs and give my horse a stick off the ground at the Liverpool, just like everyone else.
                              • Use progression of the aids: The principle that was followed at the clinic was that if you want a horse to go forward, you use the simple progression of the aids. First, you use your calf. Then, you can use your spur to ask if they don’t listen. Then your voice with a quiet cluck. If that doesn’t work it’s time to “stroke” them with your stick, just as it sounds, not smacking them with it, but just touching them with the end. Then, if they still aren’t listening or going forward from your leg, smack them! The theory is that if you have a hot horse, you can stop after putting your leg on, but if you have a lazy horse, you can wake them up while asking them as nicely as possible.
                              • Use metal Fillis stirrup irons: Don’t bother with the hinged stirrups or the black stirrups, because “They don’t support you properly. The hinged stirrups give where you need them most, and the black ones are too light, and so they fly around instead of weighting your heel and leg.” He told one girl using black stirrups: “You don’t do yourself any favors using those, and you need all the favors you can get when you ride.”
                              • Don’t be weak: One rider he berated for being too kind to her horse. “I want you to treat that horse the way that you treat your husband when he didn’t buy you the earrings that you wanted for your birthday! Don’t be afraid to tell him to listen to you!” He also spoke about horses being animals that thrive on discipline. “We aren’t being cruel, or mean, because we aren’t acting out of emotion, but we correct them when they make mistakes.” When she finished the clinic, he teased her, “I want you to go home and treat your husband the same way that you treat that horse of yours!”
                              • Keep Learning: “Look at how old I am, and I still read books, talk to people, and continue my education! I don’t sit around and say that I know everything because I’m old and famous. Why would you people get to sit around and stop learning either?” He told the audience. “I learn different ways to do things every day, and I keep my brain open so that I can take them in. That’s what makes me different from other horse people.”

                              Overall, the clinic was a great experience, and it was amazing to ride with someone with so much knowledge and experience to share. I rode with him for two hours a day Friday through Sunday, and watched the other two groups at the clinics ride for another four hours a day, so it was many hours of trying to absorb thousands of important concepts that he’s acquired over a lifetime. In those hours I discovered that George Morris is more than his Olympic medals (silver & gold), more than the chef d’equipe of the US Olympic Show Jumping team, and much more than a fearsome teacher -- he is an amazing horseman who is willing to demonstrate and teach to all who are passionate about the pursuit of true horsemanship.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                You must be proud of your daughter.

                                Well considered and well written!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #36
                                  Thank you so much for all the suggestions! I sincerely appreciate the input and am making notes as I read the thread.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    So in the midst of my envy/jealousy/awe of attending a GM clinic, I can't help but observe that it takes more prep work than being presented at the British court, or meeting the Pope.

                                    Would still love to do it!!
                                    Originally posted by The Saddle
                                    Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      rustbreeches - It's really not that bad. It won't be a ton of extra work to turn my horse and I out to his standards, I don't think. It's more that I don't want to waste valuable learning time by inciting a lecture on something that I could easily take care of ahead of time (like the spurs, which I will be wearing!).

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        Originally posted by eaconlee View Post
                                        Here's a quick article my 14yr old daughter wrote after riding with GM the first time in 2010 (includes comments on listening, spurs, and more):


                                        If you are a rider, you have undoubtedly heard of the infamous George Morris. From his reputation as one of the most well-known teachers of hunt-seat equitation, to his many books and the high-profile equitation championships that he has judged around the world, his name alone brings fear to the modern English rider.
                                        George Morris’s famously harsh teaching style has left many a rider shaking in their boots, and even the toughest of them have been knocked down by his words. After getting the opportunity to ride with him in December 2010, I proudly present you with a list of the Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Riding with George Morris:
                                        • Dress well: No matter what, you are putting on a show when you are riding. As many have read in his articles and books, he believes that attire should be neat, clean, and always using classic, practical tack. Much like Pony Club, he believes that you don’t have to have the most expensive equipment out there, so long as it is clean, well cared for, and it is what works best for you and your mount.
                                        • SUFFER!!!!! As he told us at the clinic, “I don’t care that it’s cold, I don’t care that you have been sitting here for hours, and I don’t care that you are hungry! If you love something, you will do whatever you can to learn more and better yourself. That is what I have been doing my entire life! It doesn’t matter if I am too hot, or too cold, or too hungry, I keep going, because I love it.”
                                        • Always listen: Even when he and his assistant are riding horses, always be listening and watching. One of the highlights of the clinic was watching him get on the different horses, and seeing them improve over the short time that he rode. It was incredible to see him, at his age (72), get on a new horse and ride them for a short amount of time, riding them better than their owner. He would often quiz people, asking them what they had learned, and questioning them about why he was doing something. Thinking on your feet was a good attribute.
                                        • Don’t take shortcuts: He believed that riding is about true horsemanship, and you can’t just take the easier route to get there. That means that you can’t just use a different saddle to make your position perfect, you can’t just get a horse on the bit using draw reins, or achieve your goal by tricks. No contraption can replace good riding, and sometimes you have to work from the ground up. True horsemanship is the only way to get what you want from horses, you have to do it using the basics, and it is a lifelong pursuit.
                                        • Watch others ride: The biggest part of the clinic was learning from other’s mistakes. If another girl got six strides in the five-stride line, then you had better not make the same error. If a rider dared to repeat a mistake, his favorite line was “She’s not really very bright, is she?” But you might be praised for making sure that you didn’t make the same mistake. “That’s a thinker!” He exclaimed after watching one girl correct the mistakes that were made earlier. He didn’t get mad if you made one mistake, but you needed to fix it fast, and not repeat the same thing.
                                        • Have and not need, not the other way around: This is one of the famous quotes of George Morris. Always use a running martingale, just in case your horse throws its head, always wear spurs, and always carry a crop. Although I was riding a horse described as “steer-able dynamite,” I was required to wear spurs and give my horse a stick off the ground at the Liverpool, just like everyone else.
                                        • Use progression of the aids: The principle that was followed at the clinic was that if you want a horse to go forward, you use the simple progression of the aids. First, you use your calf. Then, you can use your spur to ask if they don’t listen. Then your voice with a quiet cluck. If that doesn’t work it’s time to “stroke” them with your stick, just as it sounds, not smacking them with it, but just touching them with the end. Then, if they still aren’t listening or going forward from your leg, smack them! The theory is that if you have a hot horse, you can stop after putting your leg on, but if you have a lazy horse, you can wake them up while asking them as nicely as possible.
                                        • Use metal Fillis stirrup irons: Don’t bother with the hinged stirrups or the black stirrups, because “They don’t support you properly. The hinged stirrups give where you need them most, and the black ones are too light, and so they fly around instead of weighting your heel and leg.” He told one girl using black stirrups: “You don’t do yourself any favors using those, and you need all the favors you can get when you ride.”
                                        • Don’t be weak: One rider he berated for being too kind to her horse. “I want you to treat that horse the way that you treat your husband when he didn’t buy you the earrings that you wanted for your birthday! Don’t be afraid to tell him to listen to you!” He also spoke about horses being animals that thrive on discipline. “We aren’t being cruel, or mean, because we aren’t acting out of emotion, but we correct them when they make mistakes.” When she finished the clinic, he teased her, “I want you to go home and treat your husband the same way that you treat that horse of yours!”
                                        • Keep Learning: “Look at how old I am, and I still read books, talk to people, and continue my education! I don’t sit around and say that I know everything because I’m old and famous. Why would you people get to sit around and stop learning either?” He told the audience. “I learn different ways to do things every day, and I keep my brain open so that I can take them in. That’s what makes me different from other horse people.”

                                        Overall, the clinic was a great experience, and it was amazing to ride with someone with so much knowledge and experience to share. I rode with him for two hours a day Friday through Sunday, and watched the other two groups at the clinics ride for another four hours a day, so it was many hours of trying to absorb thousands of important concepts that he’s acquired over a lifetime. In those hours I discovered that George Morris is more than his Olympic medals (silver & gold), more than the chef d’equipe of the US Olympic Show Jumping team, and much more than a fearsome teacher -- he is an amazing horseman who is willing to demonstrate and teach to all who are passionate about the pursuit of true horsemanship.
                                        very well done!!!! I LOVED the husband/ear rings LOL!! and can JUST hear him saying that
                                        Aefvue Farm Ft.Lauderdale

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          So why exactly does he hate happy mouth and rubber bits?
                                          Mendokuse

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