This strong, relaxed rider shows a very good leg position: heel down, contact in the lower leg. If her foot were touching the outside of the iron, not the inside, she’d have a nice supple ankle, too.
Her base of support is fine. She’s a little high out of the saddle, but she’s jumping an oxer on a horse that doesn’t look all that scopey. She may be trying to relieve his back by staying off it. Her stirrup looks a trifle short; lengthening it might bring her thigh and seat down.
Her back is good and her eyes are up; but her long release, through correctly executed, results in an exaggerated broken line from her elbow to her horse’s mouth. She should move her hands closer to his withers to produce a shorter release.
Both the rider and her eye-catching horse are beautifully turned out. The horse’s coat and braid job are lovely; his head is pretty, and he shows an attractive expression through his eyes and ears.
His front end is wonderful, with knees up to his chin, but he’s a splinter-belly jumper. His arc is so limited that he’ll hollow out over the back rail, even on this mall oxer.
All the same, this combination is very accomplished and I’m sure they win a lot.
This article originally appeared in the May 1987 issue of Practical Horseman magazine.Is this photo of you? Email Practical.Horseman@EquiNetwork.com, and we’ll identify you!