The last 15 years of quotables exchanged between Mr. Morris and I. It has been some time since he stood on the ground and I in the irons and he certainly didn't have me shaking to my core the way that young, oh so young Ashley white-knuckled her reins as he was going down the lineup.
This semester has been several things, my first months without consistent trips to a trainer to get in all down pat. Fiduciary and temporal considerations tucked in my left pocket, I had to make the best. Daily I watch videos of great riders. I have always watched training and show ring rides but now I make notes and come back and set the grids at home. I don't rely on my trainers to push me, I simply push myself. If its easy, I don't do it. If its complicated or terrifying, I repeat, repeat, repeat, oftentimes breaking it down into the simplest, non-trivial case for direction and then moving of from there (yes, I ride like I complete math proofs).
With polished boots and a grey horse that shown like only a bottle of quick-silver and a case of tennis elbow in currying we stood at 9 am, waiting for George Morris to take his quip. Lance was borrowed, yes I had ridden him a year or so ago, but with only a week full of jump schools under our belt I took him to Rich's. And we were slow, my sitting trot on the landwhale was reprehensible and I was curtly corrected for my "chinese gibberish" growls at the first liverpool. As the last year of riding has taught me that only my own efforts will correct my situation, there was three days of working of tack changes and spur changes and stirrup adjustments in that quick summary of his program. And I rode, I galloped. I jumped an open water for the first time in years and I think, by the end of the clinic we were making pretty good demonstrations of everything.
Of the myriad of things I will carry forward, from determination a unending hunger when you ride towards each jump, the position of the hands in the half-half, inter alia importantly I will tell myself and anyone else that carries to ride with me that we must all own our education. We can't expect our trainers to finish everything for us. As they are not able to coach us in the ring, there are hundreds of moments during each lesson that they didn't see, didn't feel, etc. We must continue to seek guidance from those more intelligent, more experienced than ourselves but we must always, always be the one constantly pushing ourselves forward.