George Morris Horsemastership: Final Day Recap

GM tested riders this morning with a full jump course… and spiked his blood pressure.

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George critiqued body and hand position as well as stirrup placement relentlessly this morning as riders rode a super quick warm-up followed by a a full course.

New George-isms:

“Don’t underestimate body position!”

“Mistakes teach us!”

“Ducking distracts the horse! Let the horse close you up.”

“The horse does the jumping. The horse will take care of your upper body.”

“Trust your horse.”

“Too careful backfires. I didn’t say careful. I said too careful.”

“I care how the horse went and the training. There’s so much pressure, you forget the horse.” –on the pressure of showing.

“When it gets tough, don’t fold like a tent! When it gets tough, get tougher.” –Author’s note:  This quote was made during a particularly rough go during the second group. The rider/horse pair really struggled. I wanted to give this kid a super big hug afterwards, since it was so uncharacteristic of the rest of their week. No doubt a huge life lesson about adversity was learned, but my first thought was…

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“Take these techniques and put ’em to cross rails, until you really own the technique.”

“See the distance and be soft. Don’t override the distance. Don’t attack the distance.”

“I am very particular.”  —Understatement of the year, George. Understatement of the year.

I’ve been watching these training sessions since 2011, when they first appeared on the USEF network. I think this year had one of the most varied group of riders and horses ever presented, both in rider skill level and types of horses. George transformed his teaching style to suit the needs of every pair with remarkable ease. Timid riders heard the phrase, “Be aggressive!” all five days, while more confident pupils heard him constantly say, “Soft, soft, soft… get soft.” I enjoyed the ride. See you next year!

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You can watch all five days on-demand via the USEF Network here. Join us next Monday night, January 5, at 7 p.m. EST for a George Morris roast roundtable discussion about the sessions featuring celebrity guests and reader participation  — you can send in your questions/comments through the Google+ event page or Twitter @Horse_Nation. Keep it locked on Horse Nation throughout the week for more details.

Go Riding!

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