Thursday, 9 May 2013

George Morris

A couple weeks ago, I drove down to Red Deer to visit with a friend and to audit a George Morris clinic!!!! It was a great time, but will update on all the other details in another post, this one is all about what I took away from George.

Without further ado, here are my notes:

Trot 4 loop serpentines – focus on inside leg to outside hand, inside hand is opening rein, outside hand makes the turn.
Multiple reverses, again focusing on the inside leg to outside hand; hands are UP and belong to the mouth, not the withers!!  Ensure there is a straight line from the elbow to the corners of the mouth.
Shorten and lengthen within the trot, keep the tempo the same within the transitions, keep the energy UP!
Canter warm-up: Canter transitions, circles, counter-canter, and transitions within the canter.
Sit up, relax and wait for the jump to come to you, do NOT get ahead. 
Single fence along the short side, sit and relax, DO NOT MOVE.  Also try setting this on a 20m circle.  When introducing this exercise, set a 9’ placing pole for Koda.
Set a distance between fences and add/take out strides.  Set the tempo and stride before the exercise, DO NOT PICK before the fences.  SINK into the saddle to slow/shorten, no sitting/slamming.  Use leg, cluck, spur, and whip for the forward stride.
Apply both of these things in course work

Homework and Reminders
For any lead changes, half halt on the OUTSIDE rein and have the INSIDE leg on.
Re-group in the corners well before the next jump.
Open the inside-rein for tight turns and keep the eyes looking UP and AROUND.
RELAX and let the horse take you to the jump 8-10 strides out.
The aids for forward are as follows– Leg, cluck, and whip (in that order of intensity)
Halt after a line while on the line to help a horse to respect the slowing aids (shortening the stride)
Circle after the line to help a horse go FORWARD through a line
Always do something constructive after the course or exercise
For harder/”looky” fences, go for a shorter distance to give the horse time to look at or read the jump/question.

These notes were taken during two group sessions, a training level group, then a more prelim level group.  

The last exercise he did with the more advanced riders was SUPER cool, he had the course set up and would call out what type of distance he wanted for each fence.  The course was as follows:

The really impressive part of the exercise was all the horses settled and became so much more adjustable and rideable!  The roll-backs were extremely tight, but all the horses managed them with ease.

I'm SO glad I made the drive down (10 hours!) but it was absolutely worth it.  While we were there, both Jess and I got some great deals in the marketplace including a new girth, reins, and gloves for me and a new girth and saddle pads for Jess.  I also found out a saddle I had on consignment had sold, so yay for unexpected money!  If you're ever in Calgary, go visit The Tack Collector, they are fabulous!  I picked up my cheque and got a pair of breeches that fit me perfectly for a steal.  Am going to send down some of my items for sale to them as well.


  1. GM is one that I will always audit if I can't ride in it.

  2. Thanks for the notes! Everything that comes out of that man is highly educational.

  3. It was absolutely incredible! I wish I had actually brought a note book with me to write down everything he was saying. All of the above notes were what I could remember once we got back home! Will absolutely audit again.