This rider looks like an athlete who is aggressive, so I want to educate him, not discourage. Overall, his horse is not in front of his leg and he’s trying to make him go forward with his seat and upper body.
The rider has an excellent leg position—his heels are down, though the iron could be a trifle closer to his toe. But he appears to be gripping with his knee, which then acts as a pivot, sending his lower leg back and his upper body forward—his seat is way above the pommel. This knee grip is very much like the German and Dutch way of riding. This rider needs to stabilize his leg and learn that you produce forward movement by closing your leg and using a cluck, spurs or stick—not by pushing with the seat or leaning forward with the upper body. The rider might consider riding with the stirrup a hole shorter, but I can’t say for sure because of the angle of the picture and I hesitate to with such a narrow horse. His eyes are up and he’s looking ahead and his posture is good. He is using an ample release.
The horse’s knees are down and he is twisting them to the left. He jumps hollow and flat. He appears healthy, well cared for and clean, though he’s not blooming like our first two horses. His mane is a little unkempt. The turnout is all right, but they could have a little more polish.
This column was originally published in Practical Horseman's December 2016 issue.