Bad Jumping Clinic with George Morris

Uncle George is cranky, he’s misplaced his reading glasses, and he’s dialing it in big-time. See how this week’s batch of riders stack up.

From George:


Horse-Fail-Photos Facebook page

This attractive pair shows potential but needs polish to advance in their training.

The rider is demonstrating the proper 90-degree knee angle and is doing a good job of bending from the waist to stay with her horse. A more correct leg position, however, would show the stirrup leather perpendicular (as opposed to parallel) to the ground.

Her hand position is typical of young riders these days–hovering above the neck rather than pressing into the neck for a crest release. Of course, I prefer the automatic release, with a straight line between the elbow and the bit, but I’ve been telling you people that for years and you’re still all doing it wrong so I’ll save my breath.

This horse has a very dramatic style and seems capable of jumping a much larger fence. His expression, however, is one of anger. Not that I blame him.

Their turnout is clean and workmanlike for a schooling situation, although everyone knows that colored saddle pads and ear bonnets make me want to stab my eyes out with a pen.



The number one equitation flaw I see in the show ring today is young people laying on their horses’ necks. Not only is it unattractive, it also makes the horse’s job more difficult, as this photo illustrates. This rider needs let go of her horse’s ears and put weight in the heels for a more stable base of support.

Ordinarily I’d recommend working without stirrups, but this rider appears to already have that skill down.

I like how this horse is really going to the base of the fence. It’s a refreshing change from all the hunters I see loping around and leaving long, which produces a flat, unattractive jump. He has a fairly pleasant look on his face, considering the fact that his rider is on the verge of strangling him to death.

I’m just going to pretend that this rider is wearing a conservatively colored polo shirt, and that the horse’s saddle pad is clean, white and properly fitted. Clearly, I am pretending a lot of things about this photo.


From reader Marjean McIntyre

Our third and hopefully final rider, on the other hand, is doing an excellent job of not succumbing to the trend of  jumping ahead of his horse–although he could stand to close his hip angle more to stay with his horse. His lower leg seems secure and his eyes are up, looking toward the next fence.

I’m going to decline comment on his release because I haven’t taken my blood pressure pills yet today.

The horse is demonstrating a fine bascule but is hanging his knees, which could become dangerous over a larger fence. Lots of work through gymnastic grids will improve his form. Maybe.

Why can’t anyone ever polish their horses’ hooves? Nobody listens to me. Nobody cares.

Do you have a bad jumping photo you’d like to submit for critique? Email it to

*Not actually written by George Morris, obvs. With inspiration from Practical Horseman‘s “Jumping Clinic with George Morris” and Bad Riding Livejournal.

Leave a Comment


33 thoughts on “Bad Jumping Clinic with George Morris

  1. Carol pierce says:

    I have a stitch in my side from laughing so hard. This is priceless!

  2. CeCe Younger says:

    This is hilarious!

  3. M. Garzon says:

    Exactly what George would say! So well done.

  4. Laura says:

    OMG, laughed so hard at this. I could almost hear George saying these things.

  5. erin says:

    After reading years’ worth of “Uncle George’s” jumping clinic, I would say you have perfectly captured his voice.

  6. He would tell the Auditors that would be watching,”Thank You ladies for coming, you keep me in Vogel Boots”.

  7. hazystar riding says:

    This was great! I love it.

  8. Rebecca says:

    I died.

    Oh, George. Or Fake George, whoever you are…I can’t stop laughing.

  9. kc says:

    Classic HN.

  10. KMITTY says:

    In stitches! Has anyone forwarded this to GM yet? Or Practical Horseman? Definitely a keeper!

  11. Lin says:

    Can’t argue with any of the comments~ Too Funny~kudos to the author

  12. murphy says:

    This is the best thing ever created.

  13. tallen says:

    Please keep ’em coming! George at his best! haha

  14. Jackie says:

    Absolutely hilarious!!

  15. Jamie says:

    Wow. Epic. Although are you sure you had to put the disclaimer at the bottom?!?! :)

  16. Nancy hawkins says:

    My white socks are clean, my bridle path is clipped, I’m braided and have hoof polish and a clean white saddle pad! As someone who grew up reading George, I have to say that your spoof is truly awesome!

  17. staghounds says:

    So perfect! the only thing you left out was a c@a

  18. staghounds says:

    Perfect! The only thing you left out was a crack at a ridervs origin. #2 looks like she is from the mid west…

  19. Laura says:

    Yes – I can hear him saying those words. I like where ‘he’ says: ” He has a fairly pleasant look on his face, considering the fact that his rider is on the verge of strangling him to death.”

    You know we have all seen the lovely photos in the PH magazine and these photos are proof every rider at all levels can be caught off guard. And we can make fun of ourselves. Well thought out, touching to the core. :)

  20. flash whitelock says:

    LOL. A new Cookie McClung! Bravo for the “bad George”

  21. Hastie says:


  22. Cat Sass says:

    HA! I LOVE IT!

  23. Donna W Long says:

    Don’t lose the fact many of you ride in one or more of George’s clinics with the goal to learn anything useful from one of the greatest horseman /teacher the USA has produced. The connection from his eyes to the wit of his tongue are extraordinary teacher/student opportunities.. He’s always been acerbic . He can’t help being older but he recognizes ironies in horsemanship that his eyes-brain-tongue spew forth faster than a smart phone can video the entire situation. Listen up. There will never be another George Morris as there is little chance to ever see as great an all around horseman as Jimmy Williams.

  24. Donna W Long says:

    By the way, the pice is very very funny :-)

  25. Kim Meier says:

    has anyone asked George what he thinks of these? He is a flawless horsemen, but even he must see the humor in this!

  26. Susie Brown says:

    Wittiest piece I have seen in a long time. Please keep them coming. My mood needs the giggles. You are a comedic genius!

  27. Kathryn Baker says:

    I laughed so hard at the pics and the words. As an old school rider, I completely agree with the observations about the positions some young riders use today. What is up with the arched backs and no straight line to the bit? Anyway, this was great whoever wrote it.

  28. lisa says:

    OMG laughing so hard I have tears in my eyes
    Yes I agree GM needs to see these :)) thanks for the entertainment

  29. Meredith says:

    I laughed so hard I (sorry!) almost peed in my pants! Thanks!

  30. Donna S says:

    Absolutely hysterical!!! More, more!

  31. Suzanne says:

    Hilarious! We don’t often take time to laugh at ourselves!!! It is much needed!

  32. Ronnie says:

    I just want to say ” Hunter Seat Equitation” changed my life when I was still a teen! Thank you Mr Morris for being one of the most important influences when I was trying to ride,show, and teach

  33. Helen Bilby says:

    In the first photo “George” write that the rider should keep her hands a little closer to the horses neck/ He neglects to remark that she should keep her ENTIRE BODY closer to the horse as there is at least two feet between the horse and rider as they sail over the jump

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