George Morris that is. His status in the horse world is such that he can almost be referenced by only his first name…much like Beyoncé or Madonna. I was able to watch about 30 minutes of the George Morris Horsemaster Training Session Day 2 video on the USEF Network this morning. In that short time span, I was able to glean the 10 commandments according to George. They are true no matter what discipline to want to claim allegiance to – dressage, eventing, hunters, jumpers, western, or happy horse owner/rider.
1) Half halt, half halt.
2) The horse must travel and stop uphill.
3) Inside Leg to Outside Rein.
4) Invite the horse to self carriage.
5) Keep contact and ride it from behind.
6) The horse must listen to the hand.
7) The rider must give a little.
8) The horse must stretch over the back.
9) Half Halt. Yes, it is that important.
10) Regulation of stride and straightness of the horse is the responsibility of the hands.
So there you have it. When I read this list, I see Charlotte riding Valegro in their stunning musical freestyle. They make it look effortless even though we all know it is not. They are the embodiment of these concepts and what we should all strive to achieve. This could also be my list of goals for the new year. If I can master these skills, everything else will fall into place: qualifying for the Region 1 BLM Championships at First Level, qualifying for the USDF Region 1 Championships at First Level, and earning my First Level scores needed towards my USDF Bronze Medal.
So I’ve got 364 more days this year. Time to get started!
Happy New Year!