Overall: This is a very nice pair.
Leg: The rider’s foot is behind the standard, but I can see the toe and stirrup enough to tell that the stirrup is too far back on the foot. It needs to be on the ball of his foot, closer to the toe. Having said that, it’s not really interfering with his position. The angle of his knee is quite good.
Seat: I’d like to see his seat out of the saddle a little more to allow the horse more freedom in his back in the air.
Release: The rider has a little bit of a funny release. I think he’s trying to do a long crest release with his right hand and a short release with the left to keep the horse straight. If he is trying to keep the horse straight, I’d like to see more of an opening rein with his left hand, not a direct rein pulling back. The opening rein should not be so restricting.
Upper body: The rider’s back is flat but relaxed. His eyes are good—he’s looking up at the next fence.
Horse: He’s making quite a good jump here. He probably has more of a classic front end, a little tighter, than the other two. He has a nice bascule. He’s generous over the fence, making a nice effort.
Turnout: The rider’s turnout looks good. His boots are polished nicely. He is not wearing a coat as we would in hunter and jumper classes. Everything looks clean, and the horse’s coat looks good.
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2019 issue.