This rider and her pony make a tight, tidy package. She’s a short girl on a small pony, and she doesn’t have the classic rider’s long-legged, short-waisted conformation, but her correctness camouflages those problems. She’d be competitive even at the Medal finals.
Her leg is beautifully correct, the stirrup exactly the right length and ideally placed on her foot. Her little toe touches the outside stirrup branch, her toes angle out just enough, her heel is down, and the entire look is supple, relaxed, and secure.
Her base, just the right distance out of the saddle, is equally perfect. Her posture is excellent, her back flat and relaxed, her eyes and head up. The only problem shows up in her hands. They’re too high (an extremely common fault in today’s riders), floating so fat above the crest of the neck that I can see the right one from the left side, instead of resting alongside or below the crest to provide support.
Her pony is solid and strong, with a beautiful expression in his eyes and ears. He’s square and tight in his front end and jumping cleanly; although his hind legs are still on the ground, it’s apparent that he’s a round jumper.
The pair’s turnout is fine?except for the metal nameplate on the bridle. Metal anywhere on the tack other than the cantle of the saddle draws attention away from the horse and rider. That’s especially unfortunate with a pair this good and turned out this well.
Reprinted from the December 1986 issue of Practical Horseman magazine. Is this photo of you? Email [email protected], and we’ll identify you.
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