Saturday, November 13, 2010

George Morris Clinic

It has been almost a year since the clinic and I can't believe I haven't posted about the great George Morris and my 3 training days with him.In January this year I spent my 3 best equestrian days in the heat of the Australian summer at a Clinic with Mr Morris.
At first I thought that he would not be a fan of my crazy thoroughbred, with his racehorse tendencies to rear, which there was no shortage of at the clinic. However it was quite the opposite, George was a fan of my "easy and straightforward jumper" as he soon became the 'teacher's pet' in my group which very much came as a surprise to me. Each day our lesson began with flatwork, using it as an aid for our later jumping exercises. The flatwork was tiring, as expected. George's goal with us was to attain perfect straightness in our horses, to achieve this we were made to start in shoulder in up the track, then into haunches in and again into straight, repeating the exercise around the arena.
Each day we began with new exercises, all focusing on the straightness and later implication on our jumping.Our jumping began each day with small grids, getting larger and more complex each time. George's favorite exercise was 3 jumps in a loose 'z' formation on the arena, the point was to continue what we had begun in our flatwork, bending in the air and making the horses listen to our aids, we would go down through the 'z' then half turn back to reverse the order of the jumps. George used this exercise with all the groups at the clinic as a warmup for the later courses and grids. It is an exercise that I have implemented into my jumping warmups.
The hardest part of the clinic would have been our flatwork and jumping warm up without stirrups. The flatwork was all fine, that I am used to but as soon as the jumping began I forgot the importance of my legs again and Rion went up in the air on yet another racehorse rearing spree. As much as I didn't want him to show his bad side to George but he helped me greatly in avoiding and getting out of the situation; stating that "this horse will teach you equestrian tact," and indeed he has.
I can honestly say that this was the greatest clinic I have attended and am lucky enough to be attending another this coming January. A big thank you to Vicky Roycroft for organising the clinic, without her I would not have had the chance to meet the man himself. George is a master of his craft and thoroughly instilled the importance of the leg to us and also safety and correct care for our horses which he called 'cavalry'. I will definitely be writing a longer, more thorough post after the next clinic.

David Green, Colleen Brook, George Morris, Team Brook riders and Vicky Roycroft