George Morris Clinic Tips
George Morris Clinic
I posted earlier that I had entered in a George Morris Clinic in October.. Iím sooo happy and excited and canít wait!! I know a few people who will be in my group and Iím pretty confident that it will go really well. My horse has great form over fences, huge scopey jump, calm and no issues like stopping, running out, bucking exc exc. Some others in the group I think shouldnít be (1.10+ group and theyre showing at 2í6 )
Anyway, I read posts on here, CH forum and I read his books and articles in PH. So I kind of know what to expect but still need to know more about what will happen.
But I thought I would post on here to get your guys input on appropriate comments, explanations, what to expect and what to wear. And any extra advice you have. I donít have a 700$ helmetÖ But I donít think that ďnice turnoutĒ necessarily means expensive tack and clothes but I was still going to buy new Tailored Sportsman Breeches and a new long sleeve top/sweater to wear. I am going to this clinic to learn and take as much in as possible, I take riding very seriously so Iím not there to socialize with the other riders. I do have an injury to my left leg, I was in an accident and my left quad was basically ripped right off of my leg so this does make things harder but I donít want to use it as a crutch or excuse. So if it comes up as to why my left is weaker how much detail would I go into, or would it just be a quick ď I was in a car accidentĒ?
Itís a 2 day clinic and there will be around 8 riders in our group, itís a lot but 2 hours each day and heís done this before so Iím not worried that I wont get a lot out of it. I have heard though, unlike most clinicians that is you are at the bottom of the group in ability he will not spend the whole day on you, he will tell you to sit out, stop teaching you, or if you are really bad tell you to leave. I have also heard mixed stories about him, so many people say hes mean, he yells exc. But then others say they have a great experience with him and he was nothing like they expected.
To sum up I know:
BE ON TIME!!
Be able to do a short crest release, long, and automatic
Have spur and stick even if you donít need them
Be able to do posting trot and jump without stirrups for a long period of time
No see-saw hands, steady light contact
Have tack spotless and clean.
Be well turned out, workmanlike as he would say. I will get new breeches and a long sleeve shirt or sweater thatís fitted
Have horse well turned out. Lucky for me the clinic is in October so my horse will be have a full body clip
My horse is fit and good behaviour, no stop or running out from fences, she has great form, big scopey jump.
I have been training at a higher level than what the clinic is so there wonít be anything new
Donít change any tack ( example: Always ride in flash but take it off for the clinic, I don't do that - just a random example) but make sure itís all nice tack
.. Theres more but I'm not going to write out EVERYTHING
I donít know:
Do I change bits from the flat day and the jumping day ( I usually switch at home too ) Or will this bring on questions about my tack choices
Make up? No Make up? Even if its simple and light?
Iíve heard he doesnít like blondes, any input on this? Or urban legend
If he asks what my horse has done and what I have done what are the points that I should really make clear?
There is a breakfast and possible night dinner for riders ( not George ) like I said Iím not there to socialize, would it look bad on me to not go to the dinner/night out? Breakfast Iím okay with Iíll be on the property anyway but a night out when I have to ride the next day? No thanksÖ
Thatís all I can think ofÖ Any extra tips/advice would be greatly appreciated
Now, to address what you're not sure of-
-If you normall change bits for flat to jumping, then do it for the clinic as well but make sure you have someone nearby with your flat bit just in case he thinks you should change back.
-I don't see any problem with wearing neutral, light make-up.
-Urban legend, I think. :P
-Talk about the current height you're schooling and exercises you've been working on, possibly things you think you need to improve on or issues you've been having that you still need to work on. He may be George Morris but it'll be helpful for him if you already have an idea of things that you need help with.
- I don't think it would look bad if you didn't go, but you can always leave early if you feel like you need to get to bed. It can't hurt to socialize and get to know some other people in the clinic. Horses are a people business. It's all about networking.
Thanks :) it's not cheap but it's once in a lifetime kind of thing. It was on my bucket list but I never thought it would actually happen- atleast so soon! I'm only 22. There is a pony group and I think that will be an interesting one to watch to see how he teaches children.
I think your absolutely right about the going out , there's no problem with leaving early... Not sure why I didn't think of that! Lol
My advice on the top would be to wear a collared shirt, not a sweater, tucked into your breeches with a plain black belt. A white shirt would likely be "best". Do your hair as you would at a show, light makeup, nice leather or Roeckl type gloves, clean your helmet, clean the bottom of your boots.
I would change bits from flatting to jumping if that's what you do, but have your flatting bridle with you in case he wants you to switch back.
I'm sure this is explained in the clinic application, but braid your horse's mane and forelock, if you are a hunter rider, also braid the tail. I would also suggest oiling after clipping (rinse with baby oil and water, rise with water) and oiling his face lightly for the riding. And polish his hooves. And make sure your farrier has been out within 2-3 weeks. No overdue horses!
When he asks what you've done, don't launch into a huge thing. I am Anebel and my horse is Rowan. He is 9 years old, we showed I1 this year with scores/placings to high 60%/1st. Done. If he wants to know more he will ask, a quick synopsis is sufficient for him to figure out what your deal is. If he asks about the left side weakness thing, "I was in a car accident" is sufficient.
And past that, have fun and learn stuff. Yes he's big and scary but he's super knowledgeable and you stand to learn a lot! Good luck and have fun!
ETA about the social thing - for me it would depend who was going, but it's likely I would go and have a few glasses of wine and have some fun. If you don't know anyone, bring a friend or something. The Equestrian world is all about who you know and who knows you.
I've not seen anyone braid for his clinics, but it won't be considered that bad to. Here are some video clips of his clinics. You can see the horse and rider turnouts he expects.
be aware he has a VERY dry sense of humor. Many people do get put off by it when they don't know when he is kidding. An example of his humor
And I guess there are also a lot of people in sweaters. Again I won't even riding in a lesson without a collared shirt.
Lol well disregard me haha I guess I'm old hat :P
I've see all those videos, in october here it will be cold and outdoors so collared shirt under a sweater was planned, if I was in a polo I would freeze. I don't mean a big bulky thing. They said no to braiding. It was either everyone braids or no one and I was the only one who wanted to braid out of the group.
I knew about cleaning the bottom of boots, in a lot of his articles he complains about dirty boots. thanks for the other tips.
I'll take a shot here, basically get ready as I would for an A show/championships/finals ? I really pride myself in having a clean horse, I spend about 30-60mins brushing a day.
I worked a clinic with His Georgeness the week between Christmas and New Years a couple of years ago - 22 degrees that morning.
If you know who is hosting the clinic and they don't know, George does not drink coffee. He drinks hot tea. If someone were to provide the hot water, tea bags, maybe some cut up lemons and some honey, I am sure he would be very happy.
He does have a very dry sense of humor and does not suffer fools lightly. Make sure your tack is correct - at the clinic I worked, one rider actually had her spurs above the rests and yes, he noticed and called her out o it.
Pay attention and listen carefully. Sometimes, if he is using a mike, he is somewhat difficult to understand. Know that riding on the rail for him is "the track". Don't try to anticipate what he wants, but be prepared to execute when he says so.
If he asks to get on your horse, be very flattered. At "my" clinic there were three sessions in the first day and he got on a horse from each. And that wa amazing, at 70+, when he is on a horse he is 20 again.
Don't know about the blond thing.
I do know that to George, a good student is one who pays attention and, if you are riding, tries your best to do what he asks of you. At the end of the first day, when I said goodbye, see you in he morning, he turned and glared at me. Oh no, I thought, I was such a bad worker that he is going to tell me take a hike.
Not so - he looked at me and said that I was a good student! Unfortunately, he became ill and could not complete the last two days. But I did ask his friend that was with him what he meant, since I did not ride for him. And she is the one who said that to George, a good student pays attention. And that I did, I tried to be there to take his gloves when he was about to ride and hand him his helmet. The rest of the time I pretty much had my mouth hanging open hanging on his every word.
Go and have a good time!
George does have a dry sense of humor, but that is not George's voice in the video. It is a past student's voice. George is riding in the video but the past student is doing the voice over and it is an excellent imitation and exaggeration of what George would say.
Anebel, I've ridden in many FEI level clinics with no braids. Who were you riding for that required them? Just curious. If I get that level horse again, I might have to avoid those clinics! LOL!
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