The very good angle in this rider’s knee tells me her stirrup is the correct length to offer support. Yet her heel has come up, her lower leg has slipped back, and her foot is too far home in the iron. I’d have her retrain that leg by working in two-point position and concentrating on sending her weight down through a flexed ankle and lowered heel into the ground.
Her base of support is perfect, and her head and eyes are up and ahead. Her back is soft and supple, with no hint of mannered tenseness.
Her hand is very good–she’s using a short release, and I can’t fault its execution–but I’d prefer her to use a long release until her leg tightens up. That way, if she wobbles off balance, she’s less likely to catch her horse in the mouth.
The horse is making the best of a bad approach to this fence: He’s got his knees up, but he’s reaching, flat and strung out, because he took off too far from the fence.
Both horse and rider are turned out exceptionally well. The picture of tidy, conservative quality they create says they’ve made every effort to dress up for the party.
Reprinted from the December 1997 issue of Practical Horseman magazine. Is this photo of you? E-mail [email protected], and we’ll identify you.