Bad Jumping Clinic with George Morris

Watch out–Uncle George is in an extra-cranky mood. Let’s hear what he has to say about this week’s batch of riders.

Bonus: Stay tuned at the end of the post for a very special Equitation Tip of the Week!

All photos used with permission.

From “George”:

Rider #1

Big Fall

It’s too bad this rider is about to pile-drive her face into the ground because the pair actually has a lot going for them.

For instance, the fact that they’re using plain laced leather reins. If I could gather all the rubber reins in the world into a pile and set them on fire, I would. Then I’d throw in all the draw reins and colored saddle pads and jointed stirrups, and then I’d roast marshmallows over their melting carcasses and my life would be complete.

On a related note, I admire the fact that this is a classic bay horse with a neatly braided mane, and that the rider is dressed conservatively with a hairnet and clean boots (for now).

It’s also worth noting that technically, her heels are down.

So much potential here, I’m sure.



Rider #2


I can’t decide whether my eyesight is getting worse or if it’s just the photos.

Let’s assume it’s my eyesight, and this is a picture of a rider cantering elegantly around a turn in perfect bend and balance–not a picture of a rider doing her best Superman impression. It will be interesting to see, here in a second or two, how well she flies.

Let’s pretend this photo never happened and move on.


Rider #3


Some people, when they have ill will toward a certain individual, send them an envelope full of Anthrax. But when they have ill will toward me, George Morris, they send me an envelope containing a photo of themselves riding cross-country.

Please note that I don’t have anything against riding cross-country–just against people doing it badly. Back in my day, hunter courses were run over natural obstacles the likes of which one might come across in the hunt field. When I won the Maclay Medal Finals in 1915, we had to jump square oxers made of barbed wire, rusty five-foot-tall gates, and liverpools hissing with water moccasins–and we jumped them all with more poise and better style than any of you so-called hunt-seat riders today.

Case in point: this photo. The rider seems to have a flair for the dramatic, jumping down this small drop as though leaping off the Hickstead bank. She either needs to tone it down or get a bigger bank. I’d recommend getting a bigger bank, just to see what happens.

I like this horse. His ears are pricked forward, seemingly unaware that his rider is making a mockery of everything I’ve ever stood for.

Next time, send me the Anthrax.


 George’s Equitation Tip of the Week:


Do you have a bad jumping photo you’d like to submit for critique? Email it to [email protected].

Not actually written by George Morris. Seriously, he didn’t write it. With inspiration from Practical Horseman’s “Jumping Clinic with George Morris” and Bad Riding Livejournal.


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