Judge My Ride

Judge My Ride

Inspired by Hello My Olivia, I decided to post a picture of Simon and I from our last show on Judge My Ride. I won’t lie, I was pretty impressed with my lower leg in some of the pictures from this show… so I was curious what kind of feedback I might get. Below is the picture and comment I posted (typo and all).

Photo by Heather N. Photography

Pictured is my 9y/o 16.2hh OTTB and I in an Intro Jumper class at our local show series. We are working on improivg our pace so we are getting the correct strides in the line instead of adding, since my horse’s stride is on the shorter side.

The fences for this class were between 2’6″ – 2’9″. I’ve always been a hunter rider, but my horse is much happier in the jumpers. Getting used to the jumpers is quite the change!


Though I don’t think Rob Gage hung the moon or anything (he can be a bit controversial to some) I figured there would be something to learn through the exercise of posting a picture for feedback. You know, unless the judges of Judge My Ride decided I wasn’t a “true jumper” because I rolled my sleeves up on a 95 degree day.

Spoiler alert – that didn’t happen.


Anyway, here is the response from Mr. Gage! I think his information about striding and jumpers may be helpful for anyone who has a horse that doesn’t naturally flow down the lines.

Your take off spot was great, and I love your release. I think you were perfectly balanced above your saddle & his back. Listen, in jumpers, you don’t always have to get the correct number of strides in the lines. You can add….any time you want. I’ve known & ridden plenty of horses who add in the lines, and some of them were fabulous jumpers. Of course, it’s easier & more comfortable to add in lines of 5 or more strides. $ stride lines are difficult to add in, and I recommend getting the correct numbers in lines of 3 or less, and probably in the 4s too. The trick is….not to decide to add that stride right at the end of the line. If you want to add, try to do it in the first couple of strides within the line.
My girlfriend rides these 2 mares in the 1.10m-1.20m classes. 1 mare adds in the lines, and the other mare gets the “hunter strides”. I think my girlfriend does a terrific job of adding with the smaller, shorter strided horse, and just “flowing” on the bigger mare. In the end, the lines work out correctly for both of her horses.


I’m pretty pleased about my Judge My Ride experience. Sure, his nice comments about my riding certainly help but I feel like the other information offered is something more than just the poster could benefit from.

Response time was about 48 hours, and I didn’t pay anything. Even if you don’t agree with every little thing that one of the JMR judges posts about your picture, you can’t beat this service for time and cost. It’s a nice value add in the hunter/jumper community!

23 thoughts on “Judge My Ride

    1. Part of me wishes it was a little bit more like the George Morris Jump Clinic of Practical Horseman days past, but really that’s its own entity all together. JMR is a cool resource for what it is!

  1. I’m actually impressed with that feedback! I gave up on JMR long ago when I couldn’t read one more comment about how someone’s eventer needed to be in the jumper ring just because it picked its knees up.

  2. Great feedback! And also I’m SO happy this past show went well for you – I was holding my breath hoping it would be a positive experience after the hit you’ve taken to your confidence lately, and I’m super excited that you and Simon rocked it and had a great day! Also, learning jumpers is hard after living in hunterland for years!

  3. Great feedback. You guys do look great in that photo but I’m glad he talks about more than just your position. He read and responded to what you said as well. Very cool!

  4. I love that he talked about your spot to the fence, as well as the striding. I think that’s something that you and I are both working on and learning, and I enjoyed his response — it really made sense to my Hunter brain.

  5. that’s so cool – kudos for being brave enough to submit. it’s odd, i’m more comfortable posting craptastic pics of myself than i am saying, ‘huh i think this is a good one. tell me if you agree.’ but his feedback is nice, and i like that he responded to more than just your position (which btw does look super balanced!!!)

  6. That’s so cool! He sent in some helpful feedback, and I think it’s great that he was thought your position was good. I always love reading what he says because it can help my riding as well, and I like reading George Morris’ column in Practical Horseman as well.

  7. Their site can be a great way to get some free advice. I use to post on there when I was actually doing some more serious jumping.

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