Okay well I survived the clinic this past weekend! I rode in the GM clinic hosted by Iron Horse in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. I was originally in the 1.20m group but that group changed to 1.30+ so I dropped back into the 1.10m group. Lots of pros and some few cons about the clinic. We didn’t get to height, a few jumps got up to 3’6 but it wasn’t a full on height. The other groups did, we did some basic exercises o/f and flatting which was great. My group was quite a mix of people, some riders where equitation riders who have ridden in the CET Medal (somewhat like the USA’s Maclay) and others who where just jumpers and others who did I’m not sure what.
One rider got the BEST compliment- she was told she should go down to qualify for the Maclay! I was like WOW you must be happy!
The higher group had to do no stirrup work with their legs IN FRONT of the saddle! At trot/canter!
Some things we did where simple pole work : Poles set ride threw them like a 1 stride and bounce, bending lines, quadruples, liver pools, triple bar which got nice and wide! Trot and canter circles that you leg yield in and out. Haunches in, Shoulder in, Half Pass, the paces in walk trot canter: Collected, Regular, Working, Extended and many people could not do the paces in a walk. Many people forget about the walk but lucky for me I practiced A LOT! Jumping for a short and long distance, adjusting strides in lines, figure 8’s over a jump but making the circles smaller and smaller so you end up “Turning before you jump” and will only take one stride after the fence, one stride at the side and then your take off stride. Jumping/Turning with an opening rein, keeping horses straight threw transitions, small 10m figure 8’s at the canter. Lead changes down the long side ( 4 strides R lead, 4 steps walk –WALK not trot into walk- then 4 strides L lead, then again always walking no trot transition ) My biggest thing I worked on was getting my butt out of the saddle … I am a “ A** Grabber” lol He put tacks on my saddle.. It was great….
[A** Grabber front page: http://www.horsejunkiesunited.com/2012/10/14/how-to-stay-up-in-the-saddle-by-george-morris/ ]
The last day was hard because my boots broke last Thursday so I had to buy new ones and I had my spurs on and it started to rub my ankle really REALLY bad and it was just so painful but obviously I wouldn’t complain lol ride threw it but it make it a little trickier!
Some riders in our group where having issues... My issue was I was sitting too much in the saddle. And the first day I was behind the pace slightly so each distance was off. My horse was spooky but slow? Yeah- makes no sense! Her energy was up and down and bouncy and not forward but day 2 we where awesome! Just need to be getting my but out of the saddle more, legs underneath me and a cleaner release and just let my horse come up to me instead of a big release. (Work on a Short & Automatic)! I wasn’t the superstar of the group, I had no intention on going there thinking I was the best am very critical and hard on myself when it comes to riding and he said to someone “never be happy” “Good is never good enough you can always be better and never be happy with your ride” I was like WOW Thank goodness someone agrees with me!! That’s how I ALWAYS feel about my ride- it can ALWAYS be better no matter what. He never yelled at me only time he did it was to say “copy how I ride, COPY COPY COPY ME!!!” he never called me a name either. I was the only one who wasn’t yelled at or be called a name but at the same time I never got huge compliment I was just told “Good”. But I was never asked to do an exercise a 2nd time ( re due ) So I think that’s the biggest compliment of all is that each time I did what was asked and I did it correctly. Some riders where great and others weren’t having the best ride, the riders where all amazing though so having a bad ride is still better than most peoples good rides.
But each time I made a mistake / wrong distance/ something was off it was because I was figuring out what he was telling me to do: Exc. Ride a bend in 5. Well I got a four because my horse ran threw my hands and I didn’t bend enough, next time I sat back ( with tacks on! ) and she ran threw my hand still so I stopped her at the fence ( He making some riders do this anyway ) and then the next time perfect. So each mistake I did make it was a learning mistake of how much leg/hand/ seat to use so I don’t think he was mad because I was trying to fix the problem, I didn’t just keep doing the same thing over and over again.
I did almost run him over, and my horse had a stop at a fence because it was right after and I said “OMG I almost ran over George Morris OMG!” and my brain fell out. But he wasn’t mad? The horse spooked in the corner and we where suppose to ride around him and he saw the horse spook so it wasn’t my lack of steering he just said “pay attention to your horse”
Some fun Quotes of the day to riders, and the auditors
“Don’t practice eating- practice riding you don’t need to eat “
“Only thing I hate more than puppy’s is babies” (A woman had a baby … why she would bring a baby is beyond me)
“YOU STUPID THING!!”
“You’re a pretty girl but not very smart”
“I would assume you are not very good in school, your parents should expect more from you”
“Don’t get a big head, your not that good”
“I’m not here to babysit your all big girls and boys don’t waste my time with things you leant when you where children”
“I enjoy Riding First, Coaching Second and being Chef D’equipe is way at the bottom”
“Germans ride WRONG”
“DON’T TOUCH THE JUMP DON’T TOUCH THE JUMP DON’T TOUCH THE JUMP YOU IDIOT DON’T TOUCH THE JUMP”
“DON’T GET THE TAP HIT THE GROUND!!”
“DON’T TOUCH THE JUMP”
“Don’t feel sorry for yourself just do better now go again”
“You don’t need a lunch break you don’t need to eat, riding is priority number one”
And of course “A** Grabber!!”
He also got very mad at people who had plastic bits, flexi stirrups, ….twisted stirrups (how people didn’t fix that when they got on is very surprising) Dirty boots, tacks, hair messy, too short/too long martingales, no martingale lol, if you can’t change your stirrup length while keeping your foot in the stirrup, if you want adjust your girth with your foot in the stirrup. Pulling on the horse’s mouth, too short of reins, too long of reins, too short stirrup- too long stirrup. See a pattern?
People who hold their whip wrong, He was mad at riders who didn’t even try and he got very very very mad at people who didn’t listen – and there where a few. Overall he was great thought!
I had my horse SPOTLESS- and without a bath or show sheen/ coat shiner because you can tell a good groom vs. a show sheened coat. My boots spotless, clothes neat, hair neatly pulled back, conservative clothes. He did call me on my “ trending items” Exc. I have the MDS Stirrups and I ride in a Happy Mouth but day 2 I switched the bit and I use the stirrups because of the HUGELY wide base and weight of them.. Which he always says he wants people in heavy stirrups so I guess I was 50% right lol! He wasn’t nearly as bad as people made it sound, he was very encouraging and wonderful to learn from. He did have the people he didn’t like but it was purely because they did not 1- listen 2- try. So ANY coach would get mad. And if you’re wasting his time then you’re wasting everyone in the group’s time. I helped him set up jumps before the groups started each day and it was great to see how he walked the lines, his thoughts on how to set up lines, and if you ever go to his clinic and help – DO NOT LET THE TAPE TOUCH THE GROUND!!! And do not touch anything unless he says to. We knew what jumps had to go up but we didn’t touch them until he said so.
Something funny, since we’re in Canada he compared riding to our known riders. Exc. “ Ride like Ian Millar and Eric Lamaze” ……… Hmmm… they are amazing riders but from an eq. Point of view…. Eric is very.. Dramatic when he jumps and Ian is great but there are much much better riders in the world from an equitation point of view. ( Not bashing, I don’t ride GP but compare their rides to Beezie Madden or most people on the US team.) But I think he just wanted to relate Canadian riders because that’s where the clinic was. He wasn’t a huge fan of the German/European style of riding but no one expected him to be.
Hmm All I can think of now ask away if you have questions hopefully I can answer them!
I made the front Page!!
Pics from the clinic!