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George Morris- ridiculous critiques of horses' form in Practical Horseman

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  • #21
    IIRC when he was a kid, he had gotten a lease on a paint pony as a present for his birthday or Christmas or some occasion. The pony was at a horse show with someone else when he found out and that weekend the pony had a rotational fall and died.

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    • #22
      I do enjoy this parody now,instead of the original. http://www4.ncsu.edu/~masupple/hillbilly/critique.html
      I love the Hillbilly Farms site.

      As a re-rider I especially appreciate the "I-can't-believe-I-didn't-fall-off Photo Sequence"

      I may get the tshirt "Winning the battle against perfection"

      They have kids shirts "I am being raised in a barn"

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      • #23
        Originally posted by Hippolyta View Post
        I love the Hillbilly Farms site.

        As a re-rider I especially appreciate the "I-can't-believe-I-didn't-fall-off Photo Sequence"

        I may get the tshirt "Winning the battle against perfection"

        They have kids shirts "I am being raised in a barn"
        Yes, "Winning the battle against perfection" is classic!

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        • #24
          Originally posted by SnicklefritzG View Post
          but he might get a comment on his "nice seat".
          Yes he might, from many people, including George.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by caughtintheact View Post
            IIRC when he was a kid, he had gotten a lease on a paint pony as a present for his birthday or Christmas or some occasion. The pony was at a horse show with someone else when he found out and that weekend the pony had a rotational fall and died.
            I've heard him tell that story. I don't remember all the details, but I think he told it to explain why he's always had a soft spot for paints.

            GM is not perfect. Nobody is. But he's probably forgotten more about this sport than most people will ever know.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by RiderWriter View Post
              I am SOOOO glad you mentioned this, because it has been driving me crazy for AGES!! GM says this at least once virtually every month. Maybe I have not seen enough horse jumping in my life (probably a total of, I don't know, at least 2,000 hours) but I personally have never, not once, seen a horse hook a leg over a rail and fall. In fact, the only rotational falls I hear about are the ones on x-country, when I assume there is a much bigger problem than an uneven front end causing them. So why the heck is GM always threatening this dire consequence?? Especially when the horse in question is usually either a) stepping over a little fence, or b) somebody's not-six-figures-but-perfectly-useful hunter who *gasp* doesn't have knees like freakin' Rox Dene?

              I've seen it personally. Mare was a really good jumper going over 18" crossrails, working on things like rollbacks and tight turns. She was being super lazy with her feet, caught a rail, went up and over. Luckily, the rider fell one way and the horse's hindquarters the other and no harm was done, but it could easily have been a very ugly situation.
              According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.

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              • #27
                Yea, judging one still photo isn't always the proper way, you can either have a killer shot, or a bad one. I have one on my fb I bought from a show, my horses head is straight up, eyes bugged out, mouth gaping. Truth is: our first year showing, first time doing flat classes, they had kept us in the ring for the second round and I had kept my ottb too close to other horses (oops!) I was soft on his mouth, loose rein and did a killer job keeping him contained and not killing one of the pony/kid combos in the ring with me. However, one could only decide other things from that one photo (I kept it as a laughing momento of a hard lesson learned.)

                Btw, I read somewhere that he takes his boots home every night and cleans/polishes them. Who has time for that?!

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                • #28
                  Speaking as an individual who had a horse FLIP on them on the backside of an 18 inch fence, it is possible. Agree with the other individuals who have said, if you don't like to read his comments then just don't. I, for one, look forward to his columns and comments and then compare them with my own pictures.
                  Nothing is as good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse. Sir Winston Churchill.
                  ***

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                  • #29
                    He makes time to clean his boots every night or gets The Most Interesting Man in the World to clean them for him while he drinks a Dos XX .

                    But, seriously? Have we gotten oh so very PC that we can't take an observation about the safety of a fence or an opinion that things are not as good as they could be? Do we no longer look past a half a bottle of Show Sheen to see the real condition of the coat? Do we excuse potentially dangerous bad form just because it's a novice rider (whose trainer should know better)? Or make excuses because the rider did not build that iffy fence so it's ok to take a chance?

                    You ask for an opinion from somebody who never thinks anything is perfect and rarely even good enough-including himself, send in an iffy picture, wait 2 years and you get... an opinion from a very critical and keen observer. You can whine it's not a warm fuzzy or you can LEARN all you can from what is said over, and over, and over over alot of years.

                    Worst fall I ever saw was a young horse over a low crossrail, stepped in the middle of the poles, got tangled with them and flipped when he got scared and tried to bolt. Rider went to the ER with a concussion and cracked rib, horse switched to Dressage after almost a year off with a suspensory and newly developed fear of anything on the ground in an arena.

                    Have to think about and learn from everything you see, hear or read regarding horses and riding-even if you don't agree with the way it's presented. And if you don't agree? Think out why you don't agree but take emotion or feeling sorry for the rider out of it. That rider asked for it, knew what they were asking for and was aware warm hugs for trying do not go with his opinions.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      I had to go back and look at this month's issue to see the picture in question. And while this pony may be fine, I do have to say I agree with GM's assessment. The fence is small, but probably more like two feet than eighteen inches. But yes, it is possible to flip over an 18 inch fence. We had a horse that simply would not pick her knees up, and she did a rotational fall over an 18 inch fence. We never jumped her again, because her style was such she would do it again.

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                      • #31
                        I've seen a rotational in showjumping, terrifying thing to watch. It was over a larger jump though 3'3 maybe.

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                        • #32
                          GM has spent 50 years being direct at best, blunt, rude and impatient at worst...and you don't realize he was right until you cool off and think about what was said.

                          Very rarely is he wrong when identifying problems or things that need improvement. That annoys alot of people. Others just have to find fault with everybody else so pick at his delivery or ignore the fact he was right because he was "mean".
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                          • #33
                            When I was a kid, my pony -- who was always loose with his knees -- jumped a poorly-constructed 2' oxer, caught his leg in it and flipped. It was very scary but we were both ok. We were at a show so the jump had been put together by someone else, someone I wish had read GM's column! I pretty much stopped jumping the pony after that.
                            Kendra -- Runningwater Warmbloods
                            Home of EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) and Donatella M (Furstenball/ Jazz Time)
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                            • #34
                              No question that a horse can endeavor to fall catastrophically over the smallest of obstacles , but I have to agree that my eye rolling muscles get a workout when a single image is used to dismiss a horse as dangerous. Looking at the photos from my last competition this year, I could send this one for critique and maybe get some favorable remarks:

                              XCTRY

                              But then I look at the one of Horse practically falling over the last jump of our stadium round, which would tempt any sensible person to dismiss Horse as a lost cause.

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                              • #35
                                It's not THAT bad but you probably don't think it's the best representation of you and your horse to send in for public critique in a national publication.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I don't always agree with him, but I did think that the Appy in this month's issue was potentially dangerous. And I admit I'm an eventer but I do think it's a bit ridiculous that hunter fences seem to be overwhelmingly oxers, or verticals with boxes in front of them. Why not have some more upright fences to encourage the horse to use itself more? You see them in derbies and eq classes.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by x View Post
                                    I had to go back and look at this month's issue to see the picture in question. And while this pony may be fine, I do have to say I agree with GM's assessment. The fence is small, but probably more like two feet than eighteen inches. But yes, it is possible to flip over an 18 inch fence. We had a horse that simply would not pick her knees up, and she did a rotational fall over an 18 inch fence. We never jumped her again, because her style was such she would do it again.
                                    I was at a show earlier this year where a pony knocked an entire fence over, including the standards when it caught the top rail. The jump wasn't even that big either. Probably less than 2'. I think after the rail came down, pony spooked and then knocked over everything else.

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                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Highflyer View Post
                                      I don't always agree with him, but I did think that the Appy in this month's issue was potentially dangerous. And I admit I'm an eventer but I do think it's a bit ridiculous that hunter fences seem to be overwhelmingly oxers, or verticals with boxes in front of them. Why not have some more upright fences to encourage the horse to use itself more? You see them in derbies and eq classes.
                                      This is one of GM's pet peeves, too. Hunters today never jump a true vertical in the ring. Never. And that would really separate the truly good jumpers from the manufactured one. But they just don't do it.
                                      Laurie

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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by skydy View Post
                                        I do enjoy this parody now,instead of the original. http://www4.ncsu.edu/~masupple/hillbilly/critique.html
                                        Skydy, a hearty THANK YOU! I am sick and feeling sorry for myself, but after going to your link and laughing a lot, I feel much better!

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          People are not forced to send these pictures in and people must really want his opinion or they would not do it. Judge My Ride also gets some really interesting pictures and videos too. Some people have no clue what is a good jump, good position, proper attire and/or turnout of the horse. Those who send their pictures in obviously want George's opinion. If you don't like what he says, don't read his column.

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