Its been a few days since finishing the George Morris Clinic in Windsor Nova Scotia. I'm STILL exhausted. Bone deep, dragging, exhausted in mind and body.
Every rider had two choices: improve (within his framework) or leave.
I listened to him preach and bark orders. He rode rough-shod over people up one side and down the other, and today I realize the miraculous. George Morris is an optimist, an eternal optimist.
He believes you can do better. He believes your horse can go better. He believes you can do it classically, without flash or gadgets. He believes everyone with the courage to step in front of him can be better. He will do and say whatever it takes to demand, convince, bully and march you kicking and screaming into being more than when you first appeared in front of him.
Every horse and rider that I saw went better by the end. The riders rode more classically, the horses went more softly but more bravely. Every horse he sat on went better during that time.
And through it all, he wants you to rise to the challenge. Dig deep and try harder. Give more, be bolder and take risks.
At 79, George Morris doesn't need travel teaching clinics in random places anymore. Most don't. Denny Emerson certainly doesn't, and I admire him to no end. George doesn't need to hop on strange horses to feel them out and work his magic. Hell, he'd be better off not doing so.
So, for all his bluster, bravado and curmudgeonly demeanor, why bother? Optimism. Eternally believing that there are riders who want to rise to the occasion. Eternally believing that he can make riders glimpse the greatness in their horses and themselves is the only answer.
And if George Morris, the man himself, believes you can be better? Who are we mere mortals to argue?
Immense thanks to DMF Productions for bringing this clinic to our neck of the woods. It has changed my perspective in ways I have yet to process.