The Great George Morris

I know I posted some funny (and snarky) memes of George Morris last week, but let me tell you- I really enjoyed his sessions- but woooah he is a tough one.

He is also personable and has some funny stories- did you know he was the gas station attendant in the film ‘Psycho’? And he was involved in acting (after his father, the Wall Street stockbroker, called him a ”horse bum” for his equestrian career)? Well, I guess I should add that he ‘was’ involved in acting, and did perform in a few Edward Albee plays where he was onstage naked!

Psycho

Psycho

His dad asked him about that horse career, anyways…After that performance, I guess horses didn’t look so bad!

I don’t want to write and write about the clinics- I filmed a few clips, that I will share instead. I think it’s better to hear it from his voice anyways.

Check them out here

They were great, it was good to watch nice riders actually having issues with their horses- not just perfect, by-rote horses and riders. So that made it a bit more interesting, watching them overcome challenges- they all did, by the way. Riders fell off, got refusals, had bucky/hot/rearing horses and they all got over themselves and figured it out.

Good coaching!

I was lucky enough to attend a Q&A session after with George Morris and Jan Ebeling, which was funny and interesting, and gave me some hilarious insight into the life of a professional equestrian.

Oh and a quick Oats update- rode yesterday after Oats had three days off- he was a bit pissy/balky when I got on, so I immediately rode him forward and went straight into my ‘eye’ exercises (counting down to poles and then x-rails) and that woke him up. We didn’t even do any trot really…He was too pissy, so I went straight to canter, and cantered over poles. We moved back down to trot/circle/transition work once I felt like I had him more cooperative.

All in all, a fairly good ride.

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Equine diet course: Don’t eat like this!

Equine diet course: Don't eat like this!

Photo is a delicious funnel cake I made last year (or the year before?) with a friend. Yumm!

But, it nicely illustrates that a lack of nutrition is causing an obesity/overweight crises in North America and some areas in Europe. Misfed or malnourished no longer seems to refer to skinny or starved horses, instead, our horses are experiencing an obesity crises of their own!

We had the good fortune to have an equine diet course taught last night by Dr. Stephen Duren, who was hilarious and really informative.

He reviewed the basic digestion of the horse, and the most important part of a horse’s diet- forage and movement.

Stalled horses are more prone to digestive issues, including ulcers. Free-moving horses do the best, with quality forage for their environment.

He reviewed the obesity issue with us (human and horse!!) and discussed case studies of what to feed an obese horse that he showed us. We discussed insulin resistance, special case studies, and the differences in oats/hay/grains. It was very interesting.

Then, we had time for a long Q&A that people asked questions about their personal horses, and questions of feeding- like feeding beet pulp, soya hulls, soaking beet pulp, supplements, allergies.

Vancouver Island is an interesting case for hay, as our hay is not good quality at all. The longer the hay grows, the less good it becomes- it is more fibrous which an cause blockage in the intestine, and it has more sugar because it sits in the sun for longer to dry out. It is also a rather unappealing browny-yellow instead of a soft, rich green of nicer hay. We are also deficient in Selenium and Vitamin E, and he is seeing more cases of calcium deficiencies and other minerals as well.

I went to the course right after I had a quick (yes I had my phone with me to keep an eagle eye on the time!) ride. He was great!! Worked on trot 10 steps, canter 10 steps on a circle exercise from the dressage show. It was WAY easier on the left, obvi. We also worked on getting some bangin’ trot. Woo!

I’m glad I went, and I thank Greenhawk for putting this on for us. I really learned a lot and enjoyed the session. Funny and informative!

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Mr. Oats- Cross-Country superstar?

Mr. Oats- Cross-Country superstar?

Yeah I don’t think so! Photo courtesy of Jodie Wright, at a rather miserable clinic we attended a few years ago.

In short- Oats and I both lost our minds a bit. Oats was threatening to rear and go nuts, he would NOT stop bucking during the clinic, and frankly, we were both way overfaced. (Ugh, no thanks to the clinician. What a miserable experience!) also the farm owner was a freaking nutszo who verbally attacked me for ‘abandoning’ my horse- in the pen that I paid for the weekend? Ugh I hated the whole weekend, and actually wrote to the clinic organizer saying how the farm owner had attacked me.

Not so much with the jumping, but with the scene, the atmosphere. It was too much for us.

~ anyways~ that is in the past. No need to think about it further!

So…Old Mr.Oats is so awesome these days, and so on Saturday I heaped up a pile of fir branches and we hopped over them back & forth a bunch of times. Set on a slight incline, you could jump them going ‘up’ or in a slight drop ‘down’ fence.

SO FUN

Oats loved it. He had a blast! The teenagers from the stable were like heyyy what are you doing? And I was like, what does it look like! Having fun! So they joined in too and took their horses over the little brushy fence with my supervision.

Hah, now my coach is suggesting we re-visit trying to school some x-c fences this summer. To make it clear- we are NOT eventers- but Oats does seem to have a certain affinity for jumps that have a bit of ‘challenge’ added to them…Like liverpool fences, or natural obstacles on varied terrain.

Had a fun time! Yay Oats!