Jumping Clinic Classics: A Natural Leg

Take a trip down memory lane and revisit one of George Morris' classic Jumping Clinic critiques from his December 1987 column in Practical Horseman magazine.

This girl shows a very nice, natural leg, with toes out in accordance with her conformation, heel down, ankle soft, and contact in her lower leg.


Her eyes and head are up, and she’s out of the saddle just enough. Her back is all right, though she’s closing her hip angle a bit too much. I suspect she may tend to duck, a tendency she can counter with exercises such as jumping low crossrails in two-point position.

Her hand position is one I see all too often these days: floating above the crest, giving no support, and creating an extremely broken line from her elbow to her horse’s mouth. In a correct crest release, the knuckles rest firmly on or alongside the crest of the neck; as the rider relaxes his hands, he gives more or less in the direction of the horse’s mouth?not, as here, above it.

This lovely pony shows a kind expression but could be more alert?his slightly loppy ears are at half-mast, and he looks flat and a little bored. Perhaps he’s jumped or shown too much, or maybe he needs deeper distances.

The turnout is the best of the group: neatly groomed, with the rider’s jodhpurs understated and businesslike.

This article originally appeared in the December 1987 issue of Practical Horseman magazine.

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