I like this picture of an event rider very much. Her leg position is letter-perfect, but I sense that she’s a little loose—that there’s a slight slide and slip. More mileage—riding without stirrups, fox-hunting, riding green horses—will develop tightness through her thigh, knee, and calf. Even now, though, her leg is perfectly placed and her seat exactly the right amount out of the saddle. She shows a beautiful flat back with a slight concavity—an elegant but not stiff look, reminiscent of Katie Monahan. Her upper body is angled properly, and her eyes and head are up. Unlike the first rider, she has a very soft touch: her fingers, wrist, and elbow look soft and relaxed.
Although she needs to lengthen her reins a little, her horse is showing a wonderful desire to use his head and neck and he’s beautiful in front. His jumping mechanism is superb: he’s not a large horse, but he’s a powerhouse. Of all the horses we’ve had in this column, he’s one of the few I’d like to ride.
The eventing turnout is tidy, but the saddle is too big for the girl—she looks as if she’s swimming in it.
This article originally appeared in the August 1986 issue of Practical Horseman magazine. Is this photo of you? Email Practical.Horseman@EquiNetwork.com, and we'll identify you!