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To all you George Morris clinic alumni...

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  • To all you George Morris clinic alumni...

    I am taking my first clinic with him in a few weeks and would like to know what faux pas I need to avoid. I can/will not change my hair color (blond) but I have also heard that he doesn't like vests. Are there any other things I should avoid?
    I really want the clinic to be about my riding and my horse, not the attire of myself or my horse.

    Any tips would be great. Thanks

  • #2
    George cares about horsemanship and attention to detail. Horse and rider should be as well turned out as possible - meaning not necessarily expensive, but gleaming and in perfect order. Wear gloves, carry a stick and wear your (polished) spurs. Be able to explain your choice of tack.

    George wants people who listen attentively and who will do what he asks; don't make the same mistake twice! Pay attention to the others in your group and learn from their mistakes. Be prepared to start each exercise and don't wait to be told, "Next!" ... Do your best to pay attention and give the exercises your best effort and you will be fine.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina

    Comment


    • #3
      Wear spurs, carry a stick...don't need them? Too bad carry them anyways. I had eeeny tiny spurs and a pathetic stick when i went in mine, but i had it! My friend had a stopper and at one point GM borrowed a dressage whip from a spectator and made my friend use it the rest of the clinic. I also dressed like i was walking into an AA show. As did everyone else in my clinic and he commented positively on our turn out. I was blond when i did my clinic with him and he didn't say a thing about it. Make sure your stirrup leathers are even and numbered! I did my clinic with him at equine affaire in Columbus years ago and he kept yelling at the girls in the earlier clinic that day so i ran out and bought a new pair!

      It was a VERY positive experience for me. I actually got a few compliments (including one where he told me my jumping position was exemplary...which resulted in me pulling a rail and almost blowing a lead change b/c i was so shocked! I have it on video and i guard that video with my life lol). He loved that my horse had an adjustable stride and that i actually RODE my lines. He liked that i adjusted the way i rode through a bending line to make the strides easier on my horse. He liked that when i did the bending line towards the gate i didn't ride it as straight so that my horse would still get the number of strides he wanted. Remember its not a show...he'd rather you ride effectively than prettily. I went in shaking like a leaf and came out with a huge smile on my face.

      It was awesome watching him ride my friends' horses and more than anything I wanted him to get on mine, but he didn't.

      Oh and i was told that he didn't like pelhams so i switched my bit before hand. However, 2 girls did ride with pelhams in our clinic and he didn't seem to have an issue with the bit but one of the girls was catch riding a horse and not familiar with the pelham. He was picky that she tended to get a little tight with her curb rein.

      Make sure your horse will calmly trot poles. Mine would at home all day long, but he kept trying to hop over them in the clinic which he didn't like at all.
      Donatello - 12.2hh, 9 year old, pony gelding
      April - 14.3hh, 14 year old, TB Mare
      Ella - 12hh, 4 year old, pony mare

      Comment


      • #4
        He really wasn't that intense on turnout in my clinic, but everyone was neat. One girl had a show jacket on and he told her to take it off and that he didn't like jackets in his clinics. Ditto to what PPP said, always carry a stick and wear spurs. I had a great time, definitely worth the money and it was great watching him ride my mare.

        Comment


        • #5
          My best advice to you is to relax and plan to enjoy one of the best possible experiences in riding.

          Your tack should be immaculate and well fitted. LUCASSB is very correct in stating that you should be able to explain your choice of tack for the horse you are riding. If you have flexible stirrups, get some traditional ones even if it just for the clinic. It's just not worth it.

          Your clothing should be conservative in colour and fit. A polo tucked into your breeches with a plain black or brown is best. Do not overdress as he does not like it when a rider starts to peel their layers of clothing. I have ridden in his October clinics in Maryland and wear long sleeve polos so I could roll the sleeves up if I needed to.

          George Morris does not expect you or your horse to be perfect. Above all you must pay attention to his directions given to you and every other rider in the ring. When he asks you to line up in a semi circle facing the auditors--do not walk--trot smartly into line up.

          Do not talk to other riders or people outside the ring during the clinic.

          I too am blonde but it did not seem to bother him !!!

          Comment


          • #6
            I find it funny that people go to such great lengths to please this man. If your horse goes well and is comfortable in a particular bit, do really care that much about Mr. Morris' preference that you'd put him in something less useful and unfamiliar? Be neat, well equipped and ready to try your best at anything that may be asked of you....no different than any other clinic. Don't whine, don't zone-out, don't make him correct you multiple times for the same fault. These are principle that should be present in your regular lessons though, nothing special.

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            • #7
              good for you!!! it will be fun. go in prepared for the things you know he will say.

              oh! no bendy stirrup irons, use the traditional stainless steal ones.

              don't pet your horse excessively ("this is not a love fest! this is not woodstock! don't pet your horse!" - gm)

              crop and spurs,

              look fantastic.

              bring some extra bits, he may ask you to switch to a different kind for day two. if you don't have what he asks for, ask around, maybe someone does.

              just do what he says!!!
              i got so much out of what he said to the other riders too. i kinda knew what he would say to me already......hehe.

              if you have auditors, tell them the be quiet!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                GM is fun

                For all of his oddities (and there are a lot) he is a great teacher.

                You will have fun. Be tidy in your dress and tack.

                Make sure the horse is SUPER CLEAN and TIDY.

                Ditto on the crop and spurs. Clean the boots super well, the bottoms too.

                But have fun, he isn't nearly as crazed about the T/O as he used to be. More focused on the riding.

                Don't be afraid to take a chance on a line. The last clinic I audited with him he sort of went off on a local successful Eq Princess becuase when he set up a line with no ground line and a really odd stride (you had to choose to ride long or deep into to it, and then ride the combo accordingly) she had NO idea what to do. Just kept dumping the horse at take off because she had no idea how to gallop or hold.

                You would have thought hand gallop once he explained it to her had come from the moon.
                If you can see it, your doing it wrong...

                Comment


                • #9
                  I really want the clinic to be about my riding and my horse, not the attire of myself or my horse.
                  Dress neatly and appropriately in a collared shirt or nice sweater, breeches, and polished boots; tuck your hair up under your helmet; wear gloves; make sure your horse is groomed to within an inch of his life; carry stick and spurs. Really, that's it. He is not a hunter princess who is going to tell you that the polo shirt with the sunbleached shoulders is sooooo five years ago. Be neat, clean, and ready to learn and you will be just fine. Have fun!
                  "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                  Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                  Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yup, make sure shirt has collar and isn't neon colored. Tuck it in, plain belt. And tuck it in well, not bloused over the waist of your britches...he wants to see how your body is moving.
                    Shine your boots...wipe them off right before entering ring.
                    Crop and spurs most definitely. Because if he thinks you might benefit from using either and yoou don't already have them, it's a pita holding up the class.
                    Don't make the mistakes other pople make, pay attention to everything.
                    Don't say, "I/my horse can't do that."
                    I never noticed him having an issue with blonde hair...if you're properly turned out he won't see your hair anyways.
                    Tack immaculate...seriously. (horse too obviously) Tack clean and well conditioned...he's not a fan of people in brand new stiff or waxy saddles in his clinics.
                    Just listen, relax and know that you *can* do whatever he tells you to do. And definitely relax, if you're nervous you'll be stiff. Your horse will react to that too. He's not an ogre...not even close. Not even back in his younger "piss and vinegar" years. And he's witty as heck with a dry hilarious sense of humor. And literally a wealth of *easy to absorb* knowledge. That's the kicker with his clinics...he covers everything from warming up to facing issues to cooling off...all in ways you improve and learn and that most people easily understand.
                    You jump in the saddle,
                    Hold onto the bridle!
                    Jump in the line!
                    ...Belefonte

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JinxyFish313 View Post
                      I find it funny that people go to such great lengths to please this man. If your horse goes well and is comfortable in a particular bit, do really care that much about Mr. Morris' preference that you'd put him in something less useful and unfamiliar?
                      I'm pretty sure that they should just go along with the GM preferences for his clinics, since your there to learn to ride, not have a lecture on the negatives of such equipment. It is good to please the chef d'equipe!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Surely the chef d'equipe knows its important to use what works well for the horse. Why would you pre-emptively change it to something else just because you heard he doesn't like your bit? At least wait for him to SEE your horse go in it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is it worth doing a clinic with him if you don't have your changes down? My pony was affordable because she can't/won't do lead changes. This isn't a problem for an event horse, but will GM be upset if I do simple changes. The rest of her flatwork is improving quickly and she can do leg yield, turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches, and has an adjustable stride. I would like to do a 3 foot clinic with him in Dec, but dont want to hold anybody up over this issue.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JinxyFish313 View Post
                            Surely the chef d'equipe knows its important to use what works well for the horse. Why would you pre-emptively change it to something else just because you heard he doesn't like your bit? At least wait for him to SEE your horse go in it.
                            I switched my bit when i rode in his clinic, it wasn't a big deal, I just jumped in the bit i usually rode the hacks in. My horse knew the bit, did fine...it really wasn't a big deal. I was there to learn how to improve my riding. If he could give me tips to make my horse jump around like a quiet hunter in a bit he usually gets strong in then YAY! My horse ended up being a super star, only getting strong through lead changes (which he tended to do no matter what the bit)
                            Donatello - 12.2hh, 9 year old, pony gelding
                            April - 14.3hh, 14 year old, TB Mare
                            Ella - 12hh, 4 year old, pony mare

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Everything above plus...hair color doesn't matter but neatness does. When I was in his clinic he sent 2 girls out of the ring to re-do their hair because it was hanging down in a pony tail.....up under the helmet ALWAYS.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by justblu View Post
                                Is it worth doing a clinic with him if you don't have your changes down? My pony was affordable because she can't/won't do lead changes. This isn't a problem for an event horse, but will GM be upset if I do simple changes. The rest of her flatwork is improving quickly and she can do leg yield, turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches, and has an adjustable stride. I would like to do a 3 foot clinic with him in Dec, but dont want to hold anybody up over this issue.
                                He may just get on and fix the changes for you.
                                Fullcirclefarmsc.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  He was actually maybe TOO nice here in Dallas (tyler) when he was here. He really wants to see someone WORK for it. Not just poke around and learn what you can. He did tease the one blond in one class but he told her how much he liked her horse. I thought he was very easy going but maybe we just got him on a nice day???

                                  Just follow the advice here and you'll do well. Don't get too nervous or that could really make your first day long. Be honest with yourself and your horses' abilities and you'll do fine.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by In the Air View Post
                                    He may just get on and fix the changes for you.
                                    I'm riding in the October clinic at Morven...I'd love for him to get on my horse and fix his changes We're primarily eventers...so we usually just get ours over the fence...but I'd love some help in improving his changes! He does them...reluctantly.
                                    ~Drafties Clique~Sprite's Mom~ASB-loving eventer~
                                    www.gianthorse.photoreflect.com ~ http://photobucket.com/albums/v692/tarheelmd07/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by JinxyFish313 View Post
                                      Surely the chef d'equipe knows its important to use what works well for the horse. Why would you pre-emptively change it to something else just because you heard he doesn't like your bit? At least wait for him to SEE your horse go in it.

                                      I think the point is being able to EXPLAIN why you use it, not just because it is 'tack of the day'. If he could make my horse go better in a simpler bit, you bet I'd change.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by 10000 Bits View Post
                                        I am taking my first clinic with him in a few weeks and would like to know what faux pas I need to avoid. I can/will not change my hair color (blond) but I have also heard that he doesn't like vests.
                                        Ok, not to derail this, but what is this w/ GM and blondes?!

                                        /confused

                                        Comment

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