George Morris Clinic Report15 May 2017, by Uncategorized in
5 Things I Learned From George Morris- by Carrie Bruno
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of auditing a George Morris clinic at the beautiful Heathman Farms. This was my first time seeing “the one and only” up close and in person. There were three groups of eight riders that day ranging from 3 foot to 3’6″. It was day two of three and the first thing he had each group do was ride with no stirrups.
1) Inside leg to outside rein.
George emphasized this in all three groups. In the second group, he mentioned that inside leg is for direction and flexion and outside rein controls the horses shoulders and hip.
2) Poles before jumps.
George had each group go over a set of four poles on the diagonal while still riding with no stirrups. He concentrated on getting the riders to understand turn and engaging with the horse before going over fences. After doing the poles a few times, then he felt they were ready to jump a one stride vertical to a coop that was right in front of the auditors. He proceeded to tell everyone to concentrate on the first fence first and the second will follow.
3) The importance of dressage.
It was great to hear how much George stressed the importance of dressage as each group was riding.
In the first group he said seat- stick to the horse – feel- contact to his ribs. Seat – back – leg – hand – relax: a proper half halt. Last but not least, in the first group, he said backing up needs to be as active as walking forwards- the momentum should be the same- not less.
In the second group he said push to bit – not pull- elbows following- hands up above the withers. Keep a straight line to the bit – contact steady- contact definite- supple and follow with elbows. Leg to hand- let me repeat – leg to hand. Take and give and give and take. Take upward and give downward.
In the third group, he mentioned that the horse’s poll should be the highest point – elevate it – balance – and engage the hind. Impulsion is a desire to go forward and should be energetic. Hands should be higher than lower with supple elbows.
4) Privilege must be earned and not bought.
George started the day off by talking about this. How he has been in the horse world for too many years to count and he still feels like he is learning something every day and we all should feel that way. So don’t go buy a horse that’s easier to ride – go buy a thoroughbred and become a better rider because of it.
5) You’re either schooling or unschooling every second you’re on a horse. Make it count ladies.
He said this in the second group who were having an awfully hard time listening to what George had to say. I don’t know much but if he has to say something more than three times he’s not a happy camper!
I know I learned much more than five things at this clinic because every word spoken I could learn from. Thank you Stephanie and Irish Manor Stables for letting me go; it was truly a once and a lifetime experience!