Jumping Clinic Classics: One Hole Can Make All the Difference

Take a trip down memory lane and revisit one of George Morris' classic Jumping Clinic critiques from his December 1983 column in Practical Horseman magazine.

I like the photograph this rider chose to submit. It’s a side-view?the best angle for critiquing?and no jump standard or wing obscures horse or rider.

This girl has a very good leg. It has slipped a hair to the rear here, but in a natural way. I get the impression her leg is simply playing a little with the movement of her horse.

Her seat and crotch are somewhat up and ahead of her saddle, telling me she has a slight pivot in her knee. I suspect she’s jumping with her riding-length stirrups, and as a result is having to jump ahead to catch up with her horse. Beginners are taught to ride and jump with one length stirrup, but by the time they’re intermediates, they should be shortening their flat length for jumping. This girl’s stirrup could be a hole, or a half hole, shorter.

Her back is quite good?flat and relaxed, her head and eyes are up and she’s looking ahead. She’s using a short release and she has a nice light contact, but her hands are slightly above her horse’s crest, producing too much of a broken line from her elbow to her horse’s mouth. As we’ve discussed before, the rider’s hands should be alongside or slightly below the crest, not above it.

Her horse is cute. His knees are up and very even, although he could be tighter below them. He’s jumping flat, but that may be because the fence is so low.

The turnout of this pair is very good?clean and correct. The horse is trimmed well, his braids look tight and neat?even from this side of the neck?and the rider’s tack is clean, conservative and conventional.

Reprinted from the December 1983 issue of Practical Horseman magazine. Is this photo of you? E-mail Practical.Horseman@EquiNetwork.com, and we’ll identify you.

To submit a photo of yourself to Jumping Clinic, send a 4×6 inch or larger horizontal PRINT to Jumping Clinic, Practical Horseman, 656 Quince Orchard Rd., Suite 600, Gaithersburg, MD 20878. If taken professionally, please include the photographer’s name and contact information. Photos will not be returned.

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