From: Judge Robert Gage
What a beautiful head carriage. To be honest, I would have liked to have seen the entire costume.
I like how well you have him moving forward…that is a well established trot. Unless it is standard in these classes, you carry your hands flat….like you are playing the piano.
And, of course, no matter what discipline you ride….heels down is a must. It promotes a strong & stable leg.
What’s with the “fanny pack” attached at the back of your saddle? Is that going to be a part of the costume? If so, it’s important to practice with it now, so your horse gets used to it. Some horses don’t like surprises touching them behind the saddle. Beautiful horse!!
From: Judge Carol Dean-Porter
I judged the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals a couple years ago!
This horse is well engaged from behind and reaching forward freely with his shoulder. He is softly on the bit and has his ear cocked back, listening to you.
Your leg position is excellent and permits you to use your leg aid effectively. Your stirrups may be a hole too long, even for this discipline, as you lack depth in your heel. The heel lower than your toes creates a secure base of support. I like your soft contact with the mouth. Watch that you do not let your left elbow slip back behind your body. Elbows always belong right at the front of your shirt.
It appears that your right hand is flat, while you carry your left at a good angle. Hold your hands about as far apart as the bit and at about the same angle as his withers (usually 30 degrees +/-). Your hand placement is excellent and you have demonstrated a straight line from the elbow to the mouth.
I wonder if you really need this long shanked pelham. He is so soft in the neck and jaw, I imagine you could ride him in substantially less leverage, perhaps even a snaffle?
We would love to see your Native Costume outfit!
*SmartPak shared Julie’s Native Costume outfit with the judges. Check it out at http://on.fb.me/y5JFa0.