Jumping Clinic

Beezie Madden critiques a horse and rider.
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First impression: This picture is taken a little early in the jump, so the horse is still coming up in the air. Ideally, I’d like to see the photo taken a few moments later when the rider probably is not going to look like she’s ducking as much.

Flora Hoffman Photo by  Kíra Gyönyörű, Kiruu Photo

Leg/seat: Her leg is good. Her heels are down, and I like the angle in her knee. Her seat is nicely out of the saddle but not too far.

Upper body: Her back is flat and she’s looking ahead to the next fence. Her hip angle is closed too much—she’s almost touching the neck with her chest and her chin, but the timing of the photo may be exaggerating this a little.

Release: She’s using a short crest release, maintaining a light contact and not interfering with the horse. She’s carrying the stick properly in her hand, lying flat against his side.

Horse: The horse looks like a generous jumper. He’s high over the fence and appears to still be heading up. His front end is high enough but not entirely classic because his left leg is tucked tighter than the right. He’s not a hunter, though so I don’t mind that. His expression looks good, too. He’s in just a snaffle, so he probably has a nice mouth and is nice to ride.

Turnout: The horse looks very good. I prefer that the rider’s hair be neater and in a hair net under the helmet. I know there’s a little controversy because it’s said that helmets fit better without the hair up, but I don’t like a pony tail because it could get caught in something if the rider were to fall. 

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