Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
I think some time off has done you well! Your position looks great! And of course Mitch is a handsome man as usual. ;)
What I see for you: LOVE your upper body in most of the pics (not particularly the one where you got left behind haha, would like to see a bit more fold at the hips). You look really balanced and centered in the saddle! I really like how your not laying on his neck but still have a great release over the fence (too many jumpers feel the need to fling themselves at the horse's neck..), and that you're looking up with a nice flat back. This allows Mitch to jump up to you and you'll find keeping out of his way to be very helpful when the jumps get bigger: you can still follow the motion without getting in his way.
I like your overall position in the saddle as you're very centered, however the only thing that needs work is your heel. It looks like your foot is too far in the stirrup and you can't really stretch down through your leg and around his side. Maybe try and move it/angle it so the outer corner of the stirrup is closer to your little toe and the inside corner is more at the ball of your foot...if that makes any sense haha. I angle my stirrups like this and my heel stays down wonderfully, plus my toe can't poke out which I see yours has a tad. I would also suggest shortening your stirrups by one hole or so, just to give you that extra room to reach down without grabbing for your irons.
Great job staying with him through that awkward jump! I would have never noticed it was awkward until I saw his one lazy leg haha. You can really tell you stayed quiet and following even though it was probably such a weird jump. :)
For Mitch: He's jumping quite nicely, even knees and a lovely expression, however he seems somewhat bored with what he's doing! I would love to see him tuck a bit more in front, but I'm sure that will come when the jumps go up. Maybe try adding some filler or "jump accessories" to keep him focused and attentive on the jump. :) He seems to have that seasoned show horse look to him "Oh phssst. I've done this a million times soooo I don't really need to try that hard." Maybe try some new exercises with him to get him thinking and "hunting" the fence, you want him to be asking "where am I going next? What am I jumping next? Mom, you've got my full attention and I'm ready!" I suggest tons of cavalettis, poles, serpentines with jumps throughout, circles with jumps at the top and bottom of the circle, stuff like that to keep him thinking. :) And make sure to change up the courses so that you may not take the easiest or expected next jump, chances are he probably knows where he's going if you follow a typical course. ;)