If the jump poles are any indication, this team is competing at considerable height, and doing an excellent job of it.
I love her super tidy and careful horse. She’s stretching to clear this big jump and her knees are up high to lift her hooves over the second rail. I can’t tell if she’s going to stretch her back legs back and out or if she’s going to tuck them tight up under her, but either way they will clear the jump.
She has a beautiful topline and is neatly braided to show it off. The braiding and topline are a great lead to her classic flat face with its perky ears pointed forward.
The tack is well fitted, including the bridle and, although the bit can be used with two reins, she has opted for the more gentle leather link to the two rein rings and has attached her rein to that. I can’t see the noseband well but it doesn’t look like anything I’m familiar with. Perhaps someone who has seen it up close can let me know what it is and purpose of the ring behind the cheek piece.
As for the rider, Her base of support is very solid with a deep heel and lower legs against her horse. She’s well balanced and has her seat close to her horse to lower her center of gravity.
There are a few minor corrections that would help her. First, her back is rounded forward rather than flat. If she folds her hips a bit more and straightens her back her shoulders will stay in the same place. Second, her right elbow is pointing almost at a ninety degree angle to her horse. It should be pointing more toward her hip. However, it seems that she is looking slightly to the right and may be setting up to turn her horse with a leading rein to the right. My view of her left arm gives the impression that the left elbow is more correctly aligned.
The above adjustments are minor, but require concentrated effort in the beginning. Especially straightening the back because that is a defense against muscle tiredness that has evolved into habit.
More than everything else about this photo, I love the expression on the rider’s face. She has an amazing smile that shows extreme enjoyment and enthusiasm for the sport.
Many riders believe, and I am one of them, that if you take ten horses of similar athletic ability and one of them also has heart, that horse will win. I believe this is also true of riders. The expression on her face tells me that this is one of the riders who will win.
Vickie Kayuk, Back Home in Bromont