First Impression: This is a pleasant picture of a nice adult rider’s horse, and the rider’s position is excellent.
Leg: The angles in her ankle and her knee are very good. She’s correctly gripping with the back of her calf, and her knee is relaxed and her toe is slightly turned out.
Seat: Her seat is out of the saddle just enough and just a little over the pommel, and for this size jump, her hip angle is closed the right amount.
Release: I don’t like that her elbows are out and her hands are in what I call a bit of a floating release. She’s not really giving her horse enough freedom to use his head and neck. I’d like to see her use a longer crest release—move her hands up the neck to give a little slack in the reins—and press her hands into the neck a bit more. She looks as if she might be using the horse’s mouth for her balance.
Upper body: Her back is flat, and she’s looking ahead to the next fence.
Horse: This looks like a sweet, big-strided horse. His jumping style in this photo is not classic but he looks safe, and probably when he’s going around the arena, it’s a pleasant picture.
Turnout: The turnout is beautiful. The horse is shiny, the tack is clean, her boots are shiny. The saddle pad is clean and white. She’s dressed impeccably.
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2020 issue.