This girl’s leg is fabulous!
Her stirrup is perfectly placed on the ball of her foot, with the outside branch against her little toe, and her toe is turned out just enough. Her heel is down–and because her stirrup is the correct length, the angles through her knee and ankle are correct, enabling those joints to act as shock absorbers. I suspect this girl is one of those lucky riders who is blessed with very flexible joints.
Her base of support is out of the saddle just enough. Her posture is excellent, and her head is up with eyes looking ahead.
Her long crest release is appropriate here because she’s riding a pony. In top competition, however, a more sophisticated release would complement her excellent body position. With her hands resting on the crest of the neck, and with the loop we see in her rein, she’s giving her horse plenty of freedom in the air.
This rider is the right size for her pony–and the pony is lovely. She has a wonderful expression through her ears and eyes, and her nose pokes forward. She’s using her head, neck and back well enough; still, she’s a little flat and not extremely tight over this low fence. I suspect her form would improve over a higher fence; here, she knows that she can get away with simply stepping over.
Horse and rider are extremely well turned out. The rider’s clothes fit well and are clean, and the gray pony is absolutely spotless with a beautiful braid job. The flat tack is neither too thick nor too thin, and it fits.
Reprinted from the July 1990 issue of Practical Horseman magazine. Is this photo of you? Email [email protected], and we’ll identify you!