George Morris quotes

After following many years George Morris show-jumping clinics in Ypäjä Equine College of Finland I collected all the most important and educative quotes of the year 2014. The list became long and popular :)

George Morris

”If you have a system, you always have a quick answer.”

”You have a little temper. No, no. NO TEMPER! Just make the correction, no temper.”

”Place your horse. If you don´t see the distance, wait.”

”Learning is making habits. Make good habits.”

The most important thing: ”Ride WITH your horse.”

”Confidence is knowledge. Knowledge gives you confidence.”

”What is quick on the horse is rough. You have to be strong, not rough.”

”Horse wants comfort, lack of pressure. Pressure – lack of pressure: that´s how you train a horse.”

”Don´t try to pull the head down, don´t saw. I know it´s fashionable. Don´t pull down. Keep the contact, follow the head and relax when the horse accepts the bit and relaxes.” x 100

”I want steady hands. Not busy hands, steady hands.”

Lenghten the stride: ”Don´t override, horse has to reach for the contact.”

Cavalletti-work: Horse sets himself, slows a little, no rushing. Rhythm.

”It´s a real problem everywhere I teach: too low hands.” x 100

”The horse has to stretch, not lean. Stretching is good, leaning is bad. You have to know the difference.”

”When the horse stretches his neck you still regulate the rhythm, not to speed up.”

”Don´t pet your horse all the time. Petting the horse is a good thing, good attitude. BUT don´t replace good horse-training with petting.”

”Overbending the horse is worse than underbending.”

”In this country you hate to raise your hands.”

”There is an obsession here these low hands.”

”You push the head down. Not like here, where you pull the head down.” x 100

”Close your fingers, feel the horse´s mouth, it´s called contact.”

”Don´t ever train flying-changes first. Your horse has to know counter-canter first.”

”Today everything is too complicated. People cannot simplify. At the old times everything was simple and for a real purpose. People lived with their horses, they did not have cars.”

”People here don´t learn hands. That´s why they use drawreins. I don´t like drawreins, no matter who uses them. You need hands, no drawreins.”

”People, they use drawreins because they don´t understand the hands.”

”When I was 17 I thought I knew everything. I knew nothing. Now in my age I still know nothing.”

”Don´t lose your temper, don´t punish your horse.”

”You people are either punishing your horses or kissing them. You have an emotional roller coaster.”

”Hindlegs under, withers up. Horse has to feel uphill, not downhill.”

”First of all: Good teaching is very simple. You have to understand the principles.”

”You can not have pressure of no meaning.”

”Keep those hands up and together.”

”Always your inside leg is the impulsive leg, the leg that asks the horse to go forward. Outside leg is more passive.”

”When you make a downward transition, make sure your horse keeps his head up and works uphill.”

”When the horse goes above the bit, follow him up. Never let the horse to go above hands.”

”Good jumping-system is built on the flat.”

”Before flying-changes: canter departs, counter canter, simple changes (vaihdot käynnin kautta).”

”We control rider´s position from angles: ankle, knee, hip. Fourth one is elbow.”

”You have to practise precision.”

”Follow your horse, wait for your horse. That´s what I learned already 60 years ago from great Piero D´Inzeo.”

”Watch the highest point of the fence and measure the distance.”

”Go with your horse, follow your horse and measure the jump. This is how to develop your eye. It takes practise.”

”Go with him!”

”With a distance, make a DECISION: long or short. Not wishy-washy.”

”See people, how easy this sport is. If you THINK.”

”What´s interesting in this sport is to become a horseman / horsewoman. Not winning the ribbons.”

”It´s not riding, it´s horsemanship.”

”Prevention is always better than correction.”

About light stirrups: ”It won´t help your riding, this tack you like.”

”You have to ride more without stirrups, jump low fences, too. That´s the only way to develop tight seat.”

”You want CLASSICAL riding.”

”TACT! You have to have tact!”

”It´s so simple people: when the horse goes above the bit, you raise your hand and the horse isn´t above the bit.”

”Impulsion and speed are two separate things. Sometimes speed gives impulsion, but they are not the same thing. Impulsion has to come from your aids: leg, spur, whip, cluck. We teach the horse the impulsion.”

”Dressage horses in piaffer and passage need maximum impulsion but no speed.”

”Boy, I love my cluck. My cluck is my best friend.”

”Horse has to be thinking forward.”

”Riding a horse is legs and hands. Seat, seat, sit, sit: I disagree. It´s not only the seat like you think.”

”You have to have a seat, so you can forget your seat. Train your seat without stirrups.”

”I don´t think about my seat very much, I think about my aids, hands and legs.”

”You have to know every detail. It´s called horsemanship.”

”Fingers closed, hands over the withers, supple elbows, soft arm. Suppleness comes from the arm, not open fingers.”

”Most riders of today are sitting too far back. This is abusive to the horse. Reiner Klimke did not do that. You have to sit right behind the withers. You have to have sympathy for the horse´s back.”

”Our object is to collect the horse. It is from back to front. Most of you collect the horse with drawreins. That´s front to back, absolutely incorrect.”

”Collection: 1. impulsion, 2. straightness.”

”Don´t pull the horse to the bit.”

”How slow you can go without losing the impulsion, rhythm and straightness.”

Leg-yield zig-zag: ”Get the horse dancing behind.”

”This is all about contact: seat-contact, leg-contact, hand-contact.”

”You have to develop educated hand.”

”Use your fingers when the horse leans. Squeeze your hand like squeezing a lemon.”

”Classical dressage is a perfect science. People who invented it were geniuses.”

”Contact, you people hate contact, true contact.”

”When you take, take upward, when you give, give downward.”

”What´s difficult, it´s hands, the contact.”

”Acceptance, submission: it´s relaxed, happy obedience.”

”Not quick, not rough, SMOOTH. Everything smooth.”

”I want the horse to hold himself. Self-carriage.”

”Get off the horse´s back, get off the horse´s mouth so that the horse is in self-carriage.”

”Horse has to help himself, hold himself. Not to be so depended on their heavy-seated riders.”

”Don´t people stop with your hands. Where do you get it here? Balance the horse!”

”You don´t teach your horses contact with drawreins.”

”The hand belongs to the mouth of the horse.”

”Don´t cover the withers. I have to see the withers under the hand.”

”Don´t rush people. Steady, steady, steady.”

”French rein-aids, french riding! You have to know the french school, mise en main, ramener. Legs without hands, hands without legs. It went out of the window, nobody knows it today.”

”Riders position is the first, then contact: leg, seat, hand. Then you talk with aids.”

”Everybody uses drawreins. You have to do it without to learn the hand and the contact. Drawreins develop all the wrong muscles, underneck. There is no back, no hind, no butt.”

“This is how you teach: 1:st you give student an principle. 2:nd an idea, this is explanation. 3:rd an application, this is excercises, 4:th correction, 5:th demonstration, 6:th repetition. Excercises do the work.”

“Don´t drop your hands. Raise your hands, close your hands. Don´t drop your hands.” x 100

“Impulsion, rhythm, suppleness, relaxation. Contact! That´s called horse-training.”

“I´m not better, I´m older, I have more here (knocks his head).”

“You people don´t understand how to lower your horse´s head. You do it ass backwards.”

“Raise your hands and push. The horse will bring his head down.”

“I will keep you people here until the night to teach you how to ride.”

“That´s the weekest thing in Finland, understanding hands.”

Equipment: ”This is bling. In this discipline, no bling.”

“Drawrein is an invention of devil. Horses have to get round from back, not front.”

“They say practice makes perfect. That´s not true. Perfect practice makes perfect.”

“Don´t people sit down quick after the fence. It´s abusive to the horse. That´s why you have all those back-problems with horses. It´s abusive.”

“Half-halt is exclusively the outside rein. It has nothing to do with push and pull.”

“Hand!” Over and slightly in front of the withers.”

“You people have little patience to slow, detailed training.”

“Not this old Jurassic-park knee-gripping. Your lower leg is close to the horse, not the knee.”

“If you approach a fence and pull and pull and pull, you will never see the distance. You relax and you will see the distance.”

“Horse-training is details. Little details.”

“You have to understand. Whenever I teach you, you have to know WHY.”

“Firm, but not rough.”

“You people fall off so easy. You should ride without stirrups until the moon is blue.”

“At first you have to understand. Then hear it, see it. Create a mental picture, then practice all the details.”

Stages of learning: “1:st is difficult, 2:nd is a habit, 3:rd is easy, beautiful.”

Some more Morris: