Molly Basney and Buddy—October 14, 2011
From: Guest Judge Deborah Rosen
The first thing I’d like to say to Molly is that if this is Buddy’s first cross country schooling you are a very lucky girl! His expression is one of enjoyment and enthusiasm. His shape is good, especially in the front end. He is over-jumping a bit but that is to be expected in a green horse. He looks respectful of the jump but not overly impressed, so good job on not over facing him.
The main comments I have regard rider position. I feel that a more conservative position is appropriate cross-country, especially when riding a green horse. I would like a deeper heel and stronger ankle. Your lower leg has slipped back a bit, allowing the upper body to collapse forward. I would like to see more of the back of your thigh stay in contact with the saddle. Hands have moved a bit too high up the neck, breaking the line from elbow to bit. Last, as you get closer to the jump, focus your eyes on where you are going on landing.
Great exercises for strengthening your cross country position include:
• Jump position with no stress.
• Riding in “jockey stirrups” (very short stirrups in almost standing position)
• Single stirrup work. Riding your jump position on a circle keeping only the inside stirrup. (recommended only for the more experienced rider on an honorable mount!)
Looking good Molly and Buddy! Keep up the good work!
From: Judge Rob Gage
Remember, I was a professional jumper rider….but….jumping is jumping! I really like how your horse jumps. His knees are up completely. I hope you know how important that is…..especially when jumping XC.
I don’t mind one bit that his lower front legs are a bit loose. If he were to hit one of those solid jumps like this, his lower front legs would simply fold back….no problems! His hind legs are set close enough together for me to assume that he used both feet evenly and together to get his full power & balance off the ground.
I love your generous release, that allows him to stretch his head down as much as he likes. OK….your elbows are out a bit….but this isn’t equitation anyway. My only real suggestion to you would be to shorten your irons 1 more hole when you jump. Your stirrups still look like dressage length. You know, if he always jumps like this, he could probably be successful in the show ring too!!