She has been riding for a little over a year, and this is Al. She knows that she needs to work on her arms being bent...see anything else? She's going to have her first schooling show at the end of this month, and she's so excited. She's 9. She is doing about 20 inch jumps now. I don't have one of her jumping though...
What a cute little peanut. I agree with bringing her arms back to her a bit. Can't see a huge bit from this picture. She is 9, she just started riding and, it is a snapshot, not a whole picture (video) so, I wouldn't say too much. Keep up the good work, I am sure she will be great.
Is the schooling show at the barn where she trains or off site? This is a great learning experience for her. I know there are those that hate seeing a little person on a bigger horse but I personally think she looks great on that horse. Hand position will of course help headset but again... 9 and starting out.
I'm surprised to hear she's doing 20-inch jumps after riding for only a year... kind of like the other thread here asking for opinions about a daughter. That just seems awfully fast to me.
She seems to have a decent foundation. I agree with the previous poster--I'd like to see less arch in her back and a bend in her elbows. Her toes also seem to be pointed out a bit. Beyond that, it's hard to tell without a video. One snapshot, especially of a beginner child, doesn't often paint a full picture.
I would need to see vid to say whether or not I believe if it is appropriate for her to be jumping at this point.
I started riding when I was five, and I remember looking down at the saddle and thinking: "dang it... my legs don't even touch this horses sides!" hahaha! This picture reminds me of that. Such a cutie.
I agree with all above posts. Point toes forward with the heels down, elboes go back to her side, and less arch. I think the arch would go away if she relaxed a little more and leaned a bit more to the back. Also, it may just be the picture but it would be important that she keep her head up and looking forward and not at the horse as it looooks like she is doing here but I am not positive; my trainer told me to sit in the saddle as if I were a beauty queen or princess if that helps!
It's tough to see her leg position in this photo because it is so dark, but to me it looks like she has a good foundation.
I disagree that her elbows need to be bent. As long as the elbows are not locked in a straight position, having open elbows is not an equitation fault as seen in these top riders:
What is MORE important is to get her sitting back a touch and rolling her shoulders down. As her shoulders press down towards her hips, she can come into a more stable alignment.
As well (and her reins can be lengthened to achieve this) her hands can come down and rest on the saddle pad or the horse's withers to help them to learn to become independent of her body.
Overall I'm impressed by the stability of her lower body, but she needs to work on creating that same stability in her upper body as well, not allowing the horse to tip her forward. This is created with a strong back, and shoulders pressed down.
First off, I'd like to say, what a great pair! She has a very nice hunter seat for her age level, her stirrup length looks good and her leg position looks great, I also love that she is looking ahead.
Only things I can see is roll her shoulders back, thumbs up (no "piano hands!"). I would get her to loosen the reins just a tad to allow bend in her elbows and to have a comfortable contact with the horses mouth.
Keep up the fabulous work!!