Overall: I love this photo—it almost looks like poetry in motion. The rider and the horse are relaxed and appear to be having a good time. She’s allowing the horse to be his best. There is not really much to criticize.
Leg: The angles in her leg are excellent. Her leg is resting against the horse in the air. Her knee has contact with the saddle, but I wouldn’t say she’s pinching with her knee.
Seat: She has a beautiful base of support, evident in the way she’s able to use an automatic release and still be in perfect balance. She’s just right in the motion with the horse.
Release: The automatic release is excellent: She’s maintaining a very light contact but giving the horse plenty of freedom at the same time.
Upper body: Her back is flat but relaxed. Both her eyes and the horse’s eyes are looking ahead to the next fence. It strikes me that they’ve hit this jump out of a nice gallop.
Horse: The horse is making a beautiful effort. His bascule is lovely, and it looks like he’s going to use his hind end well.
Turnout: Appropriately so, the turnout is more eventer-based than show jumper—the horse’s boots look more protective than what is used for show jumpers. I would prefer to see her pony tail tucked up into her helmet, but the tack looks clean and everything fits well.
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2019 issue.