Jumping Clinic

Beezie Madden critiques a rider's jumping position.
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First impression: This is another generous jumper. What sticks out to me about the rider is her stirrup length, which looks to be two or three holes too long.

Kim Berenbaum Fall 2020 Amanda Ubell Photography

Leg: The rider is reaching for her stirrup by standing in her toe and straightening her leg in the air. She should have enough angle behind her knee and enough contact with her knee so that it stays against the saddle and keeps the saddle flap flat. If the stirrup leather was a little shorter, she wouldn’t be reaching for the stirrup and then she could put a little more weight in it and her heel.

Seat: Her hip angle looks a little too closed, which is partly caused by the long stirrups and also the moment this picture is taken. The horse is still on his way up, so he’s kind of jumping up into her.

Upper body/Release: Her back is good. Her crest release looks like it’s floating off the neck. I’d like to see her hands pressed into her horse’s neck and her elbows at her side.

Horse: The horse looks like a beautiful jumper. His knees are higher than his elbows, and he’s tucking his front legs tight and even. He’s really stretching forward and down with his head and neck and rounding his back nicely. I like the expression with his ears up. He looks like he’s in a rubber snaffle—enjoying his job and happy to do it.

Turnout: The turnout is OK. I can’t really criticize much, but it looks like the horse’s coat could have more polish. 

This article appeared in the Fall 2020 issue.

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