This picture of an excellent rider is obscured slightly by the jump wing. Still, it's clear from her ankle, knee and hip angles that the stirrups are the correct length: For a fence at or below three-six, the stirrup should hit the bottom of the ankle bone; over higher fences, the middle of the ankle bone.
The leg is quite correct: The stirrup leather is perpendicular to the ground, the iron is on the ball of the foot, and the heel is flexed down and in. The toes are out just a shade. This rider has wonderful contact and an educated grip.
Her seat is out of the saddle just enough--she's neither jumping ahead nor standing up in the stirrups. Her back is very flat and relaxed.
In the interests of safety, every rider should wear a hunt cap--I don't care if the individual is an Olympic rider or a beginner in her first lesson. This rider should also tuck her hair up under her cap or contain it with a net.
She's using a very correct short release. Her reins show some slack, but not as much as I'd look for in a long release. She's resting her hands on the crest of the neck, as she should.
Her attractive horse shows an alert expression through his eyes and ears. He's a very round jumper, dropping his head and neck. His knees are perfectly square and way up; he's very even below them.
Reprinted from the May 1989 issue of Practical Horseman magazine. Is this photo of you? Email Practical.Horseman@EquiNetwork.com, and we'll identify you!