George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session 2015 – Day Two

‘Tis the season of the George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session. Five days of the Equestrian God himself teaching a clinic to hand-picked, outstanding riders on their gorgeous horses. It almost makes you wish you were one of them…that is, until he starts breaking out his infamously sharp tongue. It is no secret that good ‘ol George isn’t shy about telling his riders exactly how he feels.

Thanks to the USEF Network‘s live stream and on demand coverage of the clinic, you too can feel like you are right there in Wellington watching George chew up the twelve lucky riders and spit them back out as effective, disciplined equestrians.

Day two consisted of a session of flat work and grid work, again split into the same two groups as day one. It was immediately apparent that George had put on his sassy pants that morning and was ready to get things going. The first group rode for approximately two hours and twenty minutes, taking turns performing different flat and jumping exercises dictated by George. They began with a short warm up, turns on the haunches and forehand, and flying changes before moving onto cavaletti and grid work.

You can watch the live stream or the on demand coverage here, the schedule of events can be found here, and the rider questionnaires have been posted here.


8:00AM Mounted Flat Work and Grid Work Session – Group 1:

“Everything I am teaching you, the horse will teach you.”

“To be early is to be on time.”

“My name is George Morris. If I am late, you can presume me dead!”

“Every action of the hand is intermittent. Take and give, take and give.”

“Come on Sydney! Ride with the program.”

“Walk forward! You’re one of these constipated cats!”

“No Wilton! That’s a turn on the haunch Wilton! I want it on the forehand!”

“At the completion of this turn it is important to maintain the impulsion and go directly forward.”

“In the extended trot, advance your hands.”

“Wilton, go outside the gate! Left! You spacey, spacey, spacey people.”

“Wilton, get with the program!”

“As the horse goes through the cavaletti, like jumping, he stretches and we go with that. We let him stretch.”

“If a horse defecates, people, you use your spurs! They don’t slow down to the big oxer combination because they’re pooping!”

“After the cavaletti, a little balancing half-halt.”

“You people, a very American problem, hang on the inside rein.”

“The outside rein regulates the paces. The inside rein regulates the direction and flexion.”

“Ah good, Charlie’s here, have no fear.”

“Keep the horse straight, just change your legs.” (Talking about flying changes.)

“Where’s Lucas? LUCAS!”

“You see people, you have lots of seats, but it comes from your basic riding seat.”

“Copy what I did. Oh you people. That is exactly the opposite of what I did! Because you’re not used to discipline.”

“That was the best one because the horse was forward and straight. Because that’s what riding is. Forward and straight.”

“If the horse is late like that, legs, not pulling the inside rein!”

“The correct term is light in the croup. And horses express that very often in flying changes.”

“The correction is always go forward. The correction is always legs.”

“That is so typical, all that neckbending, B.S.”

“He is very cheeky about the legs and seat.”

“Petting is very good for the rider, not just the horse.”

“You’ll see most horses, hunter/jumper, are not leg ridden. Slap on the draw reins and off they go.”

“A horse can’t buck with his head up!”

“This is your first stirrup length. We have another for jumping, and another shorter for big jumping. ”

“This is not a good idea for me to have a golf cart. That’s why I have a Volvo. I should have one of those Hummers.”

“I am a stylist. I like style. Some people do well without style. But the answer to that question is they would do better with style.”

“Why do we release a horse? It is so he can use his head and neck.”

“Don’t sit after that fence! Stay in galloping position. Think of the horses back.”

“The habit is this excessive behind. This sit up, sit back, sit up. It does nothing for the horse except hallow his back.”

“Bad position! You have to concentrate!”

“These fences control your hands, its called jumping out of hand.”

“We are doing that little fence! Nobody talked about that big fence yet. And she’s not even a blonde!”

“Don’t try to talk me into this new fashion of riding.”

“That’s why its easy, this sport, because the basic rules are always the same.”

“You close the horse up, back to front.”

“Heads up! I’m not good with this golf cart.”

“When I teach you stay forward and respect the horses back.”

“When necessary, get behind, but don’t live behind.”

“Perfect pays off.”

“We don’t ride position, but we are always aware of position.”

“Calm down Lucas! How old are you? You’re old! Yes, I was on the olympic team at seventeen. Stay still! You’re hyper!”

“The upper body gets erect, we sit the buttock, and not the crotch.”

“When a horse trips and stumbles it’s called peck, and you leg him forward.

10:00AM Mounted Flat Work and Grid Work Session – Group 2:

 “We do position for function…its not pretty. If you think its for pretty, you’re dumb.”

“What gives elasticity in riding is the arms.”

“You’re a space cadet you people, wasting my time for five or six days.”

“Horse showing is easy. Being horse trainers is difficult.”

“We stay out of the saddle. You’re what we call a butt grabber.”

“It denotes a careful horse. Spooky can be very good.”

“Ooh, I thought it was going to be good, but it was too good.”

“Everybody makes mistakes. They teach us. Mistakes are our best teachers.”

“If something happens, you don’t slow down, you go forward.”

“Pace to the base.”

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George Morris schooling a participant’s horse on day two of the 2015 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session
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George Morris schooling a participant’s horse on day two of the 2015 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session

Did I miss any? What is your favorite George-ism so far? Make sure to catch the notes from day one and the Beezie Madden demonstration.


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