I was super excited to read this book. Even though I have never been involved in the hunter jumper world, George Morris is a legend!
I remember as a kid, always looking in the practical horseman magazines at his photo critiques. I studied them! As I progressed in my horsemanship journey and into my career with horses, George Morris was a name I continued to hear.
From reading his photo critiques when I was a kid, I knew that he was a perfectionist. He was a true horseman. Someone that wanted all riders to show not only good riding ability but be good all around horseman.
Pretty much everything I had ever imagined about George and his life came alive in this book. From taking his first lesson to teaching his first lesson. Then coaching Olympic teams all while remaining true to form. True horsemanship is an art and a way of life. He has spent his life striving to teach this to younger generations.
The personal accounts of his relationship with his Grandmother and his father were interesting. As well as the stories of wild nights partying after horse shows overseas.
The book gives you a glimpse at the whole George Morris. His time off on exotic trips. His beloved dogs. His relationships and friendships that he had over the years.
It is amazing to read his accounts of all the horses that he has worked with over the years. There are so many of them. He describes each one and their quirks and tricks. It is like he has a photographic memory for horses. I hope that I can remember all the lessons that the horses I have met have taught me as well as he can!
Dispersed through the book are stories about George told by the many riders he has influenced over the years. It seems they all agree that to be a true horseman like he is, is something to strive for. George Morris has set the bar higher for everyone and encouraged them to do their very best.
Despite his reputation of being such a hard teacher, the accounts from his students prove that he has a system and it works. He expects a lot out of his riders. He also knows when to push(or not push) to help them succeed.
I also found it really interesting when he talked about seeing talented young riders and seeking them out to teach them. If he saw talent and dedication, he will dedicate himself to a rider's success.
The book is filled with many famous names, both horse names and rider names. It was so interesting to hear the stories of how George helped to develop these riders. All the way from young teenagers, to becoming international champions and professional riders. He has a system and it works. Those whose lives he has touched rave about him and how much better they are for knowing him. Better as horsemen and women, but also as better human beings in general!
If you have always followed George Morris in the horse magazines or heard about his clinics, I think you will really love this book. I read it because I love what he stands for. As far as the importance of teaching riders to be all around horseman.
As a horse crazy kid growing up, many of the horses and riders he talks about were the ones whose pictures I had hanging on my bedroom walls! It was like getting to know them up close and personal.
It was a great book, so glad I decided to read it!