Photos © Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore
Top equitation riders spent five days under the watchful eye of show-jumping legend and equitation master George Morris at his namesake Horsemastership Training Session in early January 2013 in Wellington, Florida. Its goal is to give the country's best young riders a chance to learn and review horsemanship skills needed to be international champions. The session covers a wide spectrum of riding, training and horse care.
In this article, George shares his observations about the 12 riders' positions, both on the flat and over fences. He notes that all of them have beautiful postures, looking up and ahead with their eyes. Several have ideal conformation for athletic riding—long legs from hip to knee and knee to heel and
short waists. But more important than rider build is solid basics. Regardless of level, all riders must be vigilant about developing and maintaining strong positions that allows them to engage their horses' hind ends and create definite, yet elastic, contact. The results are uphill horses with round bascules who have been prepared to jump their best.
See more rider critiques in the April 2013 issue of Practical Horseman magazine.