He is one that really REALLY stresses that form fits function, not to be pretty, but to be as safe and effective rider as you can.
And I wish that it remained that way in the Hunter Ring today. It isn't just in the Hunter Ring that we see this, but I do believe it starts there.
In the Hunter Ring, we see allot of perchers and posers now because they want to look pretty over the fence, so that they can pin. Pretty pins, unfortunately. Then the riders loose complete functionallity.
Then, these riders who have taught to ride this way (I blame the coaches....coaches who want to establish a name, through their students winning) merge into the Jumper Ring, but of course - and repeate this perching form over fences...still having no functionallity...and then, some of those, merge into the sport of Eventing.
That frustrates me ultimately, when I see a rider perching over CC fences. That is not a sport to piss around with - period.
What I am trying to say - is that, the line from what GM is trying to teach about Functional Form - and the line from looking pretty by having each body part where it should be to look nice over the fence, without understanding what each part is supposed to do for the horse - has been crossed.
GM talks about this quite often in is critique columns, and I agree with him, that the blame lays on the coaches out there today.
and MIE what are some things of his you don't agree with, just curious :)
I would never clinic with him, because I wouldn't meet his "Standards" of looks. I was priveledged enough to watch a clinic he was teaching, at a large Hunter/Jumper barn. One of the riders was overweight, not much - but enough to notice.
He made some rude comments towards her, infront of everyone with his mic on so all could hear.
He is very - unguarded with what he says to those around him, if they don't meet his ideals of looks, appearance.
I don't agree with that. These people spend ****ed good money to learn from him, and so what if a rider has a bit of a belly - they didn't come to get a body size critique from him, they came to learn valuable information about the sport they both love so much.
Who cares if a rider is in non traditional brown leather tack - so what if they choose to use black. And? What of it? Just because a rider is in black tack, that does not take away the functionallity of their riding abilites. That doesn't take away from the fact that they can count strides and get their horse to the base of each fence in a rhythmic tempo - big deal if they are in black tack.
It's just things like that.
He isn't scared to rip you apart if he feels the need - and that I disagree with. These riders don't pay the money to be torn apart, they spend their money to learn how to ride under his theories.
That's just how I feel. I felt terribly bad for that one girl. The funny thing, she could outride the majority of the riders who were in that clinic.