What an honor to have George Morris teaching 2 days of clinics, under the watchful eye of David O'Connor, at Windurra USA! The first day ran smoothly with a fine group of young horses in the ring getting schooled by the Master.
Each group started out with George reviewing the basics of stirrup length and basic position before moving onto a solid period of time doing flat work while George imparted his words of wisdom. Here is a video snippet of his flat work with group 2.
Group 2 Flat Work
Switching back to the first group, here are several videos on their work over fences. Emphasis was on using turns and the ring to get the young horses to become more subtle. Here's a video of Boyd on a nice young horse in group 1.
First Jumping Exercise - Group 1
Here is Dom Schramm on a lovely young horse that he has on the market. George liked Tex enough to jump in the tack for his own round over this schooling exercise, a practice that he did quite often throughout the clinic.
Dom Schramm on Tex
George Morris on Tex
I took copious notes of the snippets of information he was communicating to the first two groups. The following is a sampling of his words of wisdom:
1. It's very important that you take from a clinic what you like. I'm not your trainer, so don't take everything back to your trainer, just the exercises you like!
2. You ride off of 3 points: seat bones, calves and hands. Always keep your hands up and support in the transition. If you elevate your hands you take 20% of the horse's weight off his front end.
3. I'm not into fashion, I'm into classical riding. Some dressage riders today are far too behind the motion and have too long of stirrup. That will change and it always goes back to classical riding.
4. All the time we're combating resistance with the horse. Understand the different level of resistances with your horse.
5. Contact with your horse's mouth is elusive. Horses hate to have you touch the bar of their mouth. The horse accepts contact through the corners of his mouth. Never drop your hands. The horse has to accept your hand. It's a straight line from elbow to mouth. You squeeze lemons, you don't saw your hands back & forth. Close your fingers with firm contact, be definite yet subtle.
6. Choose and appropriate bit for jumping. Rarely is a plain snaffle enough bit for schooling over fences. A soft twist is a bitter choice.
I wanted to also award Kevin Keane the good sportsmanship award for riding a horse in training with Phillip that was a bit wild! I think that was a set up. Great riding Kevin!
Check out a few photos from yesterday's action as well. Facebook Photo Album
Keep an eye on our blog and Facebook page for more updates from today's action being covered by Amber Heintzberger.