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Judge My Ride Premium Evaluation – Shannon Bower and Piper

> Photo credits to Sarah Black

Shannon Bower and Piper—October 26, 2012

From: Judge Carol Dean-Porter

Shannon says she usually shows in the jumpers but tried hunters for fun!

Piper has left the ground pushing off perfectly with both hind feet. He is very slightly uneven with his knees. He has such a relaxed and pleasant expression, I doubt very much any judge will notice the unevenness. He is pretty flat with his back and neck, which leads me to believe this 3′ oxer is very simple for him and he did not see a reason to put out much effort.

Shannon’s saddle has slipped back a good six inches. It is really important to check saddle placement and girth tightness prior to walking into the ring. She may like to try a non slip girth and/or pad as well.

Her lower leg has slipped back by a couple inches but her heel is well down and she gives the impression of security in the air. Her upper body is quite good. Her hips are a bit far off the saddle because she had to make a move to stay positioned over Piper’s center of balance. I love her soft contact release and so does her horse!

Both of them are beautifully turned out with her boots shining, well-fitting coat and breeches. Piper is sparkling clean and great care has obviously been taken.

From: Judge Rob Gage

I really like Piper’s knees Shannon. He is wonderful with his front end, and it looks like you hit just the right spot to this oxer. For hunters, he would need to drop his head down a little more, but for jumpers or equitation, I don’t mind that he keep his head up a little.

Your body position is good even if your elbows did “pop out” a little. You demonstrate good upper support of your body. I’m a bit surprised how well you control your body, since your foot had slipped back behind the girth.

Technically, your stirrups should still be alongside of the girth. I would think you & Piper could do well in the eq & medal classes, provided he does his changes and is pretty evenly strided between the fences.

To help with your lower leg, you might try some bounce exercises…..say 4 or 5 of them in a row. (Not too big) I don’t see anything that Piper really needs to work on….he already jumps pretty darn well, and even the corrections I have mentioned for you are only minor.

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2 comments on “Judge My Ride Premium Evaluation – Shannon Bower and Piper
  1. Shannon Bower says:

    Thank you Smartpak!! It’s truly a privilege to be chosen for this evaluation. I’m very grateful to my trainer at home, Michelle Clopp, and my coaches at Bridgewater College, Jerry Schurink and Beth Blackwell Boteler, for everything they have taught me. Thank you to the judges for taking the time to look at this photo and give me some great areas to work on! Photo credit is due to Sarah Black.

    • SmartPak SmartPak says:

      Hi Shannon – Congratulations! As our premium evaluation winner, you have the opportunity to ask two follow up questions for our judges to answer. If you’re interested, please email your questions to and we will be sure to pass them along!

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