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Jumping Clinic With George Morris: June 2015

George Morris critiques a rider in the June 2015 issue of Practical Horseman.

This is a tall rider with a long leg, so her intention to not ride with too short a stirrup is correct. But her horse is narrow, so she needs to shorten the length by one or two holes to better wrap her leg around his sides. 

Similar to our previous rider, she is gripping with her knee so it acts like a pivot, though she isn’t as tense. The lower leg has swung back, and her upper body is jumping way above her horse. After shortening her stirrup, she needs to practice approaching a small fence in a jumping position, relaxing her hands forward and closing her leg. These are the preventative measures. To correct a fault, you need to have preventative measures in place first. The rider’s back is very round, which is the result of the too-long stirrup. Her eyes are up and she is looking ahead. She is attempting to release her horse, but the reins are too short, so her horse still can’t use his head and neck. She needs to lengthen them a bit so when she releases, her horse can stretch out his head and neck and use them as a balancing agent.

The horse’s front end is all right, and he is a lofty jumper. His forearms are parallel to the ground, but there is a feeling that the knees want to point down, and he is loose below them. If he were ridden to a vertical and got deep, I suspect that his front end might be a problem. He might use it better once the rider lengthens the reins and he’s allowed to jump in a natural way.

He appears to be an Arabian or have some Arabian blood in him. I say that because of the dishy face, cresty neck and raised tail. He’s a very tasty color and is clean and well groomed. Both the horse and the rider are beautifully turned out. The tack is clean and fits well, and the rider is dressed conservatively.

This article originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of Practical Horseman.

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