Lauren Spjut and Dream—August 23, 2012
From: Guest Judge Heather Beachem
This pair gives me a great first impression. Their turn-out is sharp and professional which makes me think the rider is taking riding seriously. I love that she is not intimidated to wear white gloves; to me it really finishes the look. The horse looks like he enjoys his job, and the rider looks like she is having a good time. This is so nice to see in the show ring, especially since for a lot of riders and horses, showing is a nerve-wrecking experience. This is a fancy little horse with some cool breeding!
The rider looks confident, and appears to be using her body correctly. She doesn’t appear to be leaning in any one direction, which is especially important when doing lateral movements. A lot of riders fall into the trap of leaning during lateral movements, and it is a very hard habit to break. It is a little hard to tell where her leg placement is from the front view, but I like her soft thigh and non-gripping knees. She has her stirrup on the ball of her foot and her toes forward, this seems like a little thing to notice but I see a lot of riders who hold their stirrups almost towards their heel which is not correct. I would like her shoulders a little more relaxed, she has great shoulders they just look a smidge high. She should try and elongate her neck and keep her eyes up. It would help to pull her helmet up off her face a little so it doesn’t automatically look like she is looking down.
Dream moves with a lot of expression and freedom in his shoulder. He is crossing nicely with a lot of reach; I would imagine you got a high score on this movement! The contact looks soft and his poll is the highest point. His expression is quiet and comfortable, and the pair seems to be working harmoniously.
Best of luck as the season comes to an end; I would imagine this duo is headed to Regional Championships. I look forward to seeing how far up the levels they go. They are off to a great start so far.