There's much to praise in this team's performance. The relaxed, authoritative rider has a terrific leg, with heel down, ankle flexed, calf on her horse, good knee angle, and correct stirrup length.
Her base of support, too, is correct. While her seat may be slightly high, her crotch is well back of the pommel?which, in combination with her knee angle, tells me she's not jumping ahead of her horse. Her back's slightly rounded appearance isn't so much a roach as it is a natural part of her conformation (I call it a slightly soft back), and she's calmly looking forward to her next fence with raised head and eyes.
Her short crest release is very
well done, with hand resting on the horse's neck and a supportive but allowing rein.
The horse shows an alert, intelligent, enthusiastic expression and is round from poll to dock. While he's twisting slightly to the right, his knees are up and square, and he's going to follow through strongly
with his hind end.
Unfortunately, the gaudy saddle pad and helmet cover, colored reins and bell boots, and peeking-out under-pad practically cancel out the beauty of this performance. Even while schooling, I believe, we should respect the conservative beauty of our sport and the natural elegance of our animals.
This article originally appeared in the May 1995 issue of Practical Horseman magazine. Is this photo of you? Email Practical.Horseman@EquiNetwork.com, and we"ll identify you!