Today marks the beginning of a new weekly feature, Jump Reviews by Vickie Kayuk. Vickie will randomly select photos that I took this past summer at the Bromont Equestrian Park and write her take on the jumps. These articles are meant to be informative and instructive to help riders improve their own jumping experiences.
Vickie has decades of experience as a rider. competing in Hunter, Jumper, Eventing and Dressage. She was a Mare Inspector for Eastern Ontario and Quebec, and ran a successful Canadian Sport Horse breeding program for many years. She currently resides in Ocala, Florida as an independent journalist/videographer.
Vickie first review is of Denise Wilson and Winter of the United States at the Bromont International:
Denise Wilson and Winter of the United States
I had the distinct pleasure of viewing several photos of this rider in sequence approaching, jumping, and leaving a variety of fences. She and her horse are top quality all the way.
Although this is quite a sizeable jump, the horse has a serene and capable look, the essence of a working partner who knows his job and has every confidence in his ability. Horse and rider are both well dressed, impeccably groomed, and geared up to get the job done.
I love the balance of the rider with her leg tight to the side of her horse, her seat out of the saddle, and her hands forward to give to her horse without using the horse’s mouth for her own balance. Her head seems to be tilted ever so slightly to the left in search of the next obstacle.
There is only one thing I would like to see adjusted and that is the rather large roach in the rider’s back. I believe that if she could drop her hands slightly into a more automatic release it would allow her to lift her shoulders and straighten her back. This is a habit many riders get into when they ride a lot of horses and their backs get tired or sore. Gradually they begin to curl their backs to relieve the strain and over time it develops into a habit. In this photo the foot is almost parallel to the ground, but I saw other photos where she showed a lovely deep heel, so I think this is just the moment.
Overall, I love the presentation, efficiency and attention to detail that this top-notch competitive team shows.