Her eyes and head are up, and she’s out of the saddle just enough. Her back is all right, though she’s closing her hip angle a bit too much. I suspect she may tend to duck, a tendency she can counter with exercises such as jumping low crossrails in two-point position.
Her hand position is one I see all too often these days: floating above the crest, giving no support, and creating an extremely broken line from her elbow to her horse’s mouth. In a correct crest release, the knuckles rest firmly on or alongside the crest of the neck; as the rider relaxes his hands, he gives more or less in the direction of the horse’s mouth—not, as here, above it.
This lovely pony shows a kind expression but could be more alert—his slightly loppy ears are at half-mast, and he looks flat and a little bored. Perhaps he’s jumped or shown too much, or maybe he needs deeper distances.
The turnout is the best of the group: neatly groomed, with the rider’s jodhpurs understated and businesslike.
This article originally appeared in the December 1987 issue of Practical Horseman magazine.