This is as excellent an example of a child rider as we've ever had. She has a beautiful leg. Her heels are down and her stirrups are just the right length.
Her base?seat and thighs?is slightly out of the saddle, as it should be, and neither ahead of nor behind her horse. She's arching her back a little, but she doesn't look stiff. Her eyes and head are up as she concentrates on where she's going.
She's using her short release correctly, with her hands pressing alongside the crest of her pony's neck, rather than floating above it, but I'd prefer to see less slack in the reins. Although she's young, she's a good intermediate-level rider, and she could well ride with a shorter rein as preparation for the more advanced automatic release. I approve of the use of the pelham on the pony: Young riders who learn to use and understand different types of bits develop lighter hands.
This pony has a lovely expression in his ears and eyes, but his jumping form leaves a little to be desired. He's just stepping over this fence, swinging his front legs to one side to get them out of the way.
The pair is very well turned out. The pony isn't braided?this might be a schooling class?but he's well groomed, and his tack is clean. The rider is appropriately dressed. She's been put into the ring with a lot of polish and not too much sophistication. I don't like to see little girls turned out in high boots and made up to look older than they are.
Reprinted from the August 1984 issue of Practical Horseman magazine. Is this photo of you? E-mail Practical.Horseman@EquiNetwork.com, and we'll identify you.
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