A few years ago I was fortunate enough to ride with one of the greats in the Hunter/Jumper community – Jeff Cook.
A professional rider and trainer since 1979, Mr. Cook was in the midst of “Forward-Riding Enlightenment” and old school horsemanship. He was fortunate to work for George Morris as his assistant on two occasions, five years each, where he honed his skills under the perfectionist hunter/jumper trainer. He continued to successfully compete as a Grand Prix rider, and ultimately turned his attentions to being one of the best A” circuit rider/trainer across the country, with students winning at both national and international competitions.
His no-nonsense but simple, easy-to-approach instruction and methods made him a blast to clinic with. I struggled with riding and performance anxiety for many years, and it was my first formal clinic I attended and not audited, so I felt a ton of pressure to perform. I was so blown away by his gentle, understanding nature and amazed that he personally adjusted his verbiage and explanation to each of the riders in my division – regardless of age, goals, and abilities (of both horse and rider). His perceptiveness, extreme attention to detail (especially turnout, oh my goodness he was a drill sergeant to anyone whose boots were not spit shined polish and hair not tucked in), and sense of accomplishment he provided to each of his riders that weekend (including myself) is something I will not soon forget.
Enjoy the ride,
Colleen, Purchasing Associate