NZ Horse & Pony - - Jumping Clinic -

Our sec­ond pic­ture is taken at just the right time. The horse is at the top of his arch where the rider should be in the best pos­si­ble po­si­tion to aid him in the jump­ing ef­fort.

The first thing I would say to this rider is: “sit up”. She is do­ing so much right here and all she needs is some out­side help to im­prove her po­si­tion. First thing I would do is shorten her stir­rups a cou­ple of holes. No­tice that her knee an­gle is al­most com­pletely open and her knee is nowhere near the knee roll of the sad­dle. Her foot is too far into the stir­rup iron and this does not help her to push her heels down – es­pe­cially as she is reach­ing for the ped­als to start with.

So, with a shorter stir­rup length and proper place­ment of her foot in the stir­rup she would be able to have the flex­ion in her an­kles for plenty of weight in her heels. Her knee would be forced up into the knee roll of the sad­dle for a much more ef­fec­tive po­si­tion. That in turn would make her seat a lit­tle lighter in the sad­dle and al­low her to open her hip an­gle, which will make her taller.

I very much like her re­lease; she will just have to ad­just her rein length to ac­com­mo­date her new po­si­tion. She has been taught the ba­sics and is not a bad rider by any means. No­tice that her leg is in the per­fect po­si­tion with the toe of her boot in line with the front of the girth. Her lower leg is against her horse, as is her in­ner thigh. She is al­most the op­po­site of our first rider this month; have a look at the two dif­fer­ent riders’ seats and you will see what I mean.

This young lady is ly­ing down on her horse’s neck; she is much too low with her up­per body over the top of the jump. That can be­come a se­ri­ous prob­lem when you start to jump com­bi­na­tions, as the re­cov­ery time is not fast enough and you don’t want to get left in the back seat with the jumps com­ing up too quickly. She needs to open her hip an­gle and ride taller and that will help bring her hips more un­der­neath her in­stead of be­hind her.

This horse is jump­ing just fine. He is a lit­tle loose with his legs be­low the knee but noth­ing bad; he doesn’t look ter­ri­bly im­pressed with this lit­tle brick wall.

The horse seems to be well looked af­ter. There is some shine to his coat un­der the unique clip job. The rider’s boots are pol­ished to a lovely shine and I like the nice thick sad­dle pad for school­ing. This sad­dle looks a bit too small for this rider, and of course I would like to see her long hair con­tained some­how for a neater look, while a pair of gloves is al­ways nice to see. In this pic­ture it looks as if some­one is school­ing in their back yard. It is so nice to have well-con­structed jumps at your dis­posal. This young lady has her leg in a very good po­si­tion with her lower leg right at the girth. She has her heels down with her foot placed prop­erly in the stir­rup iron. How­ever, her knee an­gle is too open and I think that short­en­ing her stir­rups would rem­edy this. The fact that she can get her heels down so well tells us that she is not reach­ing for the stir­rups, but the knee an­gle tells us they would help her po­si­tion if they were a bit shorter. Her seat is a lit­tle too far out of the sad­dle, with her hips slightly for­ward. I would like to see her lower her seat just a bit but still ride with the beau­ti­ful flat back she shows here.

With her seat a lit­tle far out of the sad­dle, she may be jump­ing ahead just a lit­tle or an­tic­i­pat­ing the jump. No­tice how her el­bows are stick­ing out to the side? When she low­ers her seat, she can bring her re­lease back to the crest of her horse’s neck, bring­ing her el­bows in and cre­at­ing a nice straight line from el­bow to bit. She is a tall, slen­der rider on a some­what small horse, though, and her over­all po­si­tion, tak­ing that into con­sid­er­a­tion, is re­ally quite good.

The horse is jump­ing this ver­ti­cal in great form. His knees are up around his chin and he is clear­ing it with ease. Ver­ti­cal jumps are tough, es­pe­cially with­out a ground line to help the horse with the take-off.

This short-cou­pled horse is us­ing him­self very well and is in beau­ti­ful con­di­tion, with a well pulled mane. They make a nice-look­ing pair; I like the fact that the rider has con­tained her very long hair so it is not fly­ing around, and of course I like the gloves.

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