Jumping Clinic: Hip Angle

Beezie Madden explains how a too-closed hip angle can affect the rest of a rider's position.

Overall: The rider’s slid-forward leg has resulted in a too-closed hip angle.

Courtesy, Kate Bennett

Leg: I’d like to see the stirrup more on the ball of the foot and adjusted so the outside bar of the stirrup is slightly ahead of the inside bar. She’s turning her toe out and pushing her leg forward. She needs to relax her knee more, turn in her toe slightly and slide her leg back so she has more angle in her knee. I like that she still has some contact with her calf.

Seat/Release/Upper body: Her seat is nicely over the pommel, but her hip angle has closed too much, a byproduct of her leg sliding too far forward. She is overcompensating with her body to catch up with the horse’s motion. This is seen in how bent her arms have to be for the short crest release because her body is so close to the neck. Also, she almost looks like she’s using the horse’s mouth to catch up with his motion. But her eyes are looking up and ahead, which will help her balance.

Horse: The horse looks very capable with a relaxed eye. He doesn’t have a classic front end—his knees are lower than his elbows—but he appears safe. He’s high over the fence, but I’d love to see his expression brighter.

Turnout: The excess stirrup leather should be cut because it can act like a stick or whip hitting the horse’s side if it flaps. The bridle fits well with a nice D-ring snaffle and a regular noseband. The rider’s boots could be cleaner and shinier. I’m not a fan of riding in a tank top—a short-sleeved shirt with a collar will help protect the skin if the rider were to fall or if a horse were to bite.  

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