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).
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!