Our third rider has a very good leg, too, but could shorten her stirrup because this is a very narrow-sided horse and she has a very long leg from the hip to the knee and the knee to the heel. A shorter stirrup would allow her lower leg to be more in contact with the horse’s rib cage and tighten the angle behind her knee from 130 to about 110 degrees. Her heel is down and her ankle is flexed. She could move the iron closer to her toe, though having the foot a little farther back in eventing is permissable.
Her seat is excellent: It’s out of the saddle but not too high or too forward. She has a good back. She is looking down—at this point in the jump, her eyes should be well up and looking ahead. She’s using a good short release with a slack rein. The short release does not have the perfect contact or control of the automatic release, where the contact remains the same approaching, going over and landing from the jump.
The horse is very cute. His dish face and tail pointing out make me think he has Arab blood. Arabs are very intelligent and sensitive, though they don’t traditionally have a lot of scope. But they’re safe and they fold their legs over lower fences and they have great stamina and are good movers.
I can’t really talk about this horse’s jump because he’s landing. He’s splitting his legs a little, but he’s not dangerous. His hind end trails a little—from his stifle to the end of his foot is straight out behind him.
He’s clean but it looks as if he has a long coat and his mane could be pulled. They are a vision in blue, which eventers like but I don’t because I think bright colors distract from the horse.
This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Practical Horseman.
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