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Jumping Clinic with George Morris

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nice elbows

    This riderís leg position could use some work. She does not have her weight in her heels and as a result is having to grip with her knees to stay on her horse. To compensate for her poor leg position, she has thrown her entire body forward. She needs to keep her seat near the saddle and bend at the hips.
    This rider is giving her horse a huge release. She has her knuckles pressed into his crest, which has caused her elbows to come out a bit. From the angle of the photograph there appears to be a straight line from the bit, through the hand, to the elbow. Her back is flat and her eyes are up. She is very focused on her next fence.
    This horse looks like a very capable jumper who would prefer a more capable rider. The look on his face indicates that he may be worried about getting elbowed in the jaw.
    The pairís overall turnout is on par with the riderís ability. The rider needs to class up her outfit by adding some sleeves to her shirt. The amount of skin she is showing is not appropriate, even for schooling at home. I do not favor fleece girths and square saddle pads. The too long stirrup leather needs a trim. This rider and her ground crew should realize that jumps are not coat racks and traffic cones have no place in a jumping arena.


nice angles

    This rider's leg has nice angles. Her leg is under her where it can give her a good base of support. Unfortunately her good leg angles are overshadowed by her foot, which has slipped back in the stirrup. This has caused her heel to come up, pushing her forward. Sliding her foot a bit further into the stirrup would allow her to put more weight in her heels and will help her come back into her saddle.
    This rider is attempting an automatic release, but appears to be clinging to her horse's neck instead. She has a nice straight line from her left elbow, through her hand, to the horse's bit. But when executing an automatic release the rider should maintain contact with the horse's mouth and should not have a loop in the reins. Her right hand has come too far forward. Her back is flat and she is looking for her next fence.
    This photo makes it difficult to evaluate this horse's style over fences. He is a well built horse who is probably capable over fences when he wants to be. His facial expression tells me this is not his first time in this predicament.
    This pair's turnout could use some work. The horse looks well groomed, but his tacky pink and purple saddle pad clashes with his coppery color. The rider's boots need a good polish and the stirrup leathers need a trim. The sleeves of her shirt are too short; there should be an inch of shirt visible below the cuff of her jacket. And, of course, she needs a hairnet.


And down the stretch they come!

    This rider needs to keep her feet in the irons in order to have a good base of support over fences. I would like to see her lower leg against her horse's side, not his flank. Her knee is a foot from her saddle, when it should be resting against her saddle, but not pinching. I would also like to see at least a little bend in her knee. She appears to be jumping ahead, but I think this is actually a result of her conformation. Her long thigh has pushed her quite high out of her saddle. To overcome her conformational flaw she needs to think about keeping her butt closer to the saddle, not showing it to the crowd.
    She is executing a crest release which is giving her upper body some extra support, which is necessary since she is so far from her horse. Her back is flat, but she is looking down, which is where she may be landing soon.
    This horse has the "why me" look of a horse who has to deal with uneducated riders everyday. His knees are up, but his legs are loose in his lazy effort over this fence.
    This rider needs a groom to wipe the mud off her boots and remind her to button her shirt and put on her hunt coat. I don't favor plastic schooling helmets, especially in the show ring. If a rider insists on a fleece girth cover, she should at least make sure it is not bunched up. She needs a hairnet and her horse needs some hoof polish.


I love the guy sitting on the fence in the background

    This rider's stirrups are too long. A shorter stirrup would allow her to get out of her saddle and into proper two-point position, which I suspect she never learned to do. She needs to learn to allow her horse to close her hip angle, rather than sitting unbending in the saddle.
    This rider needs to learn how to execute a crest release, instead of just throwing her hands forward. She needs to grab mane, or ribbons, to give her horse his head. She is just throwing the reins away and her elbows are out in classic chicken wing form. She appears to be looking at her hands which are just dangling from her arms. Her version of a release has caused her to round her shoulders.
    This horse is making a truly awkward effort over this tiny jump. He has thrown himself over it and as a result completely lacks style. He needs to spend some time jumping with an educated rider who can teach him how to actually jump.
    I rarely see turnout on par with this pair. The rider appears to be riding in a western saddle while wearing her pajamas. The poor horse is painted with numbers and other designs. He has pretty ribbons in his mane and two different colors of polo wraps. This pair's attire is fitting considering they are jumping what looks like traffic cones.

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