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!