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Jumping Clinic with George Morris


Hold on!

    This rider's jumping style reminds me of the days before the now-favored forward seat jumping style was adopted. It looks more like she is driving a car than riding a horse. Her feet are shoved out in front of her and her butt is in the saddle. Rather than throwing her weight back in an attempt to stay on here horse, she needs to begin adopting a more forward seat to go with her horse's motion.
    This rider needs to grab mane before each fence until she learns to ride. Grabbing mane will allow her to loosen up her restrictive death grip on her horse's mouth. This rider's oversized jacket is coving up what appears to be a roached back that is common to eventers and people who don't actually know how to ride. She is looking down at the ground and has a look of sheer terror on her face. I would like to see her focusing on relaxing and becoming more of a passenger. Her attempts to actively ride her horse are only interfering with his ability to do his job.
    This horse has an appropriate expression of concern on his face. He gives the impression that he may be a sensible horse who is capable of jumping this knee high brush jump if his rider left him alone. With this rider, however, his head is up, his back is hollow, and his legs are almost completely straight.
    The rider's turnout is on par with her riding abilities. I am not sure that even the tacky eventers would approve of her camouflage jacket. Thankfully we can't see most of the rest of her outfit, part of which appears to be baggy sweat pants. She needs to buy a fitted saddle pad and a hair net. On a positive note, she is wearing gloves.

Only the rider is going to clear this fence

    This rider's knee angle is too straight. This caused her lower leg to slip back, making her unable to follow her horse's motion. As a result she has forced her seat out of the saddle and is ahead of the motion. Shortening her stirrups will increase the bend in her knee and give her the base of support she needs over fences. She also needs some remedial work to become part of her horse and to retrain her seat to stay closer to the saddle.
    This rider is throwing her upper body forward, attempting to jump this fence for her horse. Her crest release is adequate, although I would like to see her hands a bit lower so her upper body has the support it needs. Her back is flat and she is looking up and into her next turn, which apparently is into the arena fence. This rider considers this jumping effort a success because she managed not to fall off. I, however, have seen few less appealing jumps in my career.
    This horse has an enthusiastic and studious expression. She is carefully examining the ground on the other side of the fence. She is even up front, but I would like to see her knees a bit higher so that she can actually clear the fence.
    This pair's turnout is rough and not quite ready. I do not care for the square saddle pad, nor the white cushion that extends well in front of the pommel. The horse's apparel is all tied together with a tacky synthetic and fleece girth. I do not approve of the rider's all black attire that shows too much skin. The rider needs to invest in a pair of gloves and a hair net. I normally suggest that riders dust off their boots before a ride, even at home. In this case, however, the dust clouds created by this pair make that a moot point.

Jump that jump next

    This rider's unsteady lower leg is ruining what would otherwise be a pretty bad jumping position. Instead of the traditional heels down position, her toes are pointing towards the ground. Moving her irons a little more towards her toes will allow her to put her heels down, preventing her leg from slipping back. Her leg has slipped so far back that her leather is almost parallel to the ground when it should be perpendicular.
    This rider has not quite mastered the art of two point. Two point is not just standing up in the stirrups. This rider has an almost straight line through her head, hips, knees, ankles, and toes. She needs to work on bending her joints. The only thing that is not straight is her back. She has a slight roach, probably due to her attempts to reach her horse's neck for support when her upper body is too far away. She is attempting a crest release, which is appropriate for her low level, using her hands to support her precarious position. I am not sure what she is pointing at, probably the ground, which is where I am sure she often ends up when jumping.
    This horse looks like a very capable jumper. He has the look in his eye of a horse that is used to packing monkeys around over fences day in and day out.
    This pair's turnout could use a little more attention to detail. She needs to have her groom cut her stirrup leathers by about two feet. The rider needs a coat with longer sleeves. Exactly one inch of shirt cuff should show from under the coat sleeve. There appears to be a bulky, black cushion sticking out from between the saddle and pad. The bridle has some contraption connected to it, the purpose of which I cannot even imagine.

Jumps like a deer

    This rider's interesting position stems from her weak base of support, which is supposed to be provided by her lower leg. In a valiant attempt to stay on her horse she has shoved her feet through the stirrups, causing her heel to come up and her leg to slip back. She is clinging to her horse using only her knees.
    She is not executing the traditional jumping position, in which the rider comes out of the saddle and closes the hip angle, inclining the upper body and releasing the hands forward. She has managed to get up out of the saddle, but she has chosen a more upright posture that requires her to throw her arms forward. She needs to begin bending at the hips. This will allow her hands to rest on her horse's neck, giving her the support that she does not get from her seat and legs. She needs to be looking up and at her next fence, not looking down to where this pair is about to land in a disorganized heap.
    This horse does not look very stylish, with all four legs hanging over this fence. However, he cannot be faulted for his lack of style until he has a rider that can put him to a fence properly. The look on his face and his swishing tail says he is not enjoying his job, but I would not enjoy taking an uneducated rider over fences either.
    This pair's turnout, while sub par, is at least better than their jumping ability. Both horse and rider need to contain their flyaway hair, the rider's in a hair net and the horse's hair in braids. I do not like the square saddle pad, especially since it bunches when the rider's leg slides back. The rider needs a coat and shirt with much longer sleeves. If she were riding in the hunter ring, rather than the jumper ring, I would want to see the rider on a bay thoroughbred, not an appaloosa.

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