From her base of support through her entire outline, this rider is in near perfect position all the way. Her ankle is not quite as relaxed as I would like to see it, and there is a slight rounding in her back, but her heel is slightly down rather than flat and everything else in this picture is as good as it gets.
Imagine her falling straight to the ground and you can see that her leg is directly in her center of gravity with enough hip out behind to counterbalance the weight of her shoulder, head and arms. Her seat is just out of the saddle enough without being stuck up in the air, her body angle is very close to the angle of her horse’s topline, and she has her head up with her eye on the next fence, which I would guess is straight ahead.
The line from bit to hand to shoulder is about as good as it gets and the slight curve in the rein tells me that, although she has a hold on the rein, she is not pulling on her horse’s mouth.
Both rider and horse are clean and well outfitted for the job at hand. I do like her white, long sleeved shirt as opposed to the darker short sleeves that other riders favor these days. The white serves three purposes: first, it is a classic, clean look; second, white reflects the heat much better than the darker colors so the rider stays cooler; and third, long sleeves protect the rider from the sun and, considering the long hours riders spend in the sun, this is a huge consideration.
As for the horse, it has a lovely, kind eye, but I can tell it’s somewhat keen to do the job by the bit she’s using. It also has a strong, fit appearance to it and looks like it will follow through with a nice bascule on the landing side. The angle of the ears give the impression that the horse is listening to the rider, and I love the high knees and how nicely curled the lower leg is.
It certainly doesn’t look like this team will not have any trouble clearing the jump and I suspect they will be strong contenders at the shows they attend.
Vickie Kayuk for Back Home in Bromont
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