From: Judge Robert Gage
This is a terrific photo. Delenn is giving a wonderful effort. Just look at his front legs, and how well he has his knees up & folded….doesn’t get any better than that! Heck, he even goes in a D-bit snaffle! Don’t see that too often in the jumper ring. I wouldn’t even consider recommending any changes to his jumping style. When I get picky….I might mention that he is pretty far off to the left side of the fence, but I consider that more of a rider responsability.
Speaking of the rider….let’s take a look at Michaela Lee. I know she is not an equitation rider, so I don’t mind so much that she is kind of laying down on top of Delenn’s neck. You can see the front of her shirt right down on top of her horse’s mane. For jumpers, that doesn’t really matter. She has a very long & generous release, which I’m sure Delenn appreciates, as he uses it all! My only suggestion would be for her to shorten her stirrups for jumping. It never hurts to have them a little short. I’m sorry, but that was my only suggestion…..like I said in the beginning…..this is a terrific photo!!
From: Judge Carol Dean-Porter
This mare uses her body really well, clearing the back rail of the oxer with a foot to spare. She appears to have left the ground from a good distance and I can see that her hocks and stifles are dead even. She gives the impression of confidence and carefulness about the jumps. I love her great expression and can see she is “zeroed in” on the next jump. She appears to be well-prepared and very experienced.
Michaela’s stirrups are long enough that she has pulled her heel up in the air in an effort to stay secure. I am not positive, but believe that her stirrup leather has twisted as well. This causes the stirrup iron to twist across the foot. If Michaela will shorten her stirrups, she will be able to control her body in the air better, and most especially on the landing side. She has given Delenn plenty of freedom to use herself in the air.
It may be the angle, but I think that Michaela’s helmet has slipped down. This happened to me during an Open Jumper course at Indio when I went into the ring with my “show helmet” the day after I cut my hair. It is fairly distracting when the bill of your helmet slips down into your field of vision! She may want to check the fit and add some padding in order to keep the helmet securely out of the way.
This mare jumps well enough that I think she deserves a belly guard! When galloping fast, especially on grass, careful horses will hit their chests and belly with their heels. Even when jumping without studs, this can cause bruising and abrasions.
I like the correctly-adjusted figure 8 nose band, set so that the cross piece does not press on the cartilage of the nose. I also like the simple Dee snaffle. Delenn’s saddle does not appear to have slipped at all, but Michaela may like to add an elastic breastplate as insurance.
They are jumping off to the left side of the jump. This is not so vital when jumping straight lines, but on a bending line can change the distance between two obstacles substantially.
This pair looks like winners to me!