Wednesday, May. 22, 2024

From The Judge’s Box: With Leslie Law and Lesley Grant-Law

Photo 1: JUMP MORE WITH THE HORSE

With the exception of the completely distracting, flowing hair that is a safety hazard cross-country, this isn’t a bad photo.

The horse is adorable, and you really can’t fault him. He has a super expression, is great with his knees and is jumping straight.

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Photo 1: JUMP MORE WITH THE HORSE

With the exception of the completely distracting, flowing hair that is a safety hazard cross-country, this isn’t a bad photo.

The horse is adorable, and you really can’t fault him. He has a super expression, is great with his knees and is jumping straight.

Our rider has a good crest release and is great with her eye and flat in her back. How-ever, it looks like she needs to shorten her stirrups and keep the irons perpendicular to the ground, as there is quite a lot of horse between her leg and the girth. The angles in her hip, back of knee and heel need to close in order to move the hip back so she’s not jumping up his neck so much. She needs to jump more with

 

Photo 2: YOUR LEG SHOULD SUPPORT YOU

This is a businesslike horse who seems well aware of his job. He’s not putting much effort into jumping this log, as clearly he doesn’t have to. He is drapey with his front end and bored, if not a bit sour, in his expression. Would this photo inspire me to want to jump on and take him around a prelim course? No, but I’m quite sure he’s very capable at the level he’s jumping in our photo.

He does give us a good example of how to use a running martingale, as more often than not, people have them too tight and create a disruption in the contact, causing a ‘V’ in the reins. Our rider is doing a good crest release, is good with her eye, but again loses respect for the flowing hair.

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She also loses marks with her leg as she is gripping solely with her knee and has no weight in her heel, so her leg has flown way back from the girth. Your leg should support you by the girth. If your spur is sticking out behind your square saddle pad, you probably have a leg issue. Ideally you want more of your foot through the stirrup for cross-country riding whereas this rider has hers up by her toe.

 

Photo 3: Well Presented

And here is our winner! The rider is showing us a very good example of an automatic release. Look how there’s almost a straight line from the horse’s mouth, to the hand, to the elbow. This is a pretty super photo overall.

She has lost her leg slightly, but just ever so slightly, and she’s managed to keep all of her other angles very well. Who wouldn’t want to ride this horse with his keen expression, use of neck over the fence and briliant front end?

And on top of it, this rider shines. She is well presented on a shiny horse. She shouts, “Look at me, I’m important!” whereas our first two riders don’t.

 

Photo 4: A Good Job Coping

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Obviously this keen little horse has over-jumped and jumped to the right of this fence, but our rider is doing a good job coping with it.

Again we see a good straight line from bit, hand, to elbow. She’s a bit leaning off to the left with her upper body, but I would suspect that is from trying to compensate from her horse jumping right. An opening left rein on approach and take-off of this fence may have prevented this.

If you took the horse out of the photo our rider looks as though she would land on her feet, so her leg position is solid. Overall, this looks a good, competent rider.

 

The Judges:

Leslie Law, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist for Great Britain, has also earned Olympic Team silver medals and European Championship team gold, as well as the 2002 World Championship team Bronze. His wife, Lesley Grant-Law, has competed at the three-and four star levels for Canada. They reside in Bluemont, Va., and Ocala, Fla.

 

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