Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Badminton 2011: What horses do for us

This is great footage of a near-fall, partly because the fall didn't actually happen and partly because you get a glimpse of how willing these horses are, and how much they "get" and embrace their job. Kudos to horse and rider...

BTW, Peter Atkins stressed over and over how his "defensive" riding style (sitting in the back seat) keeps you safe in cross-country. This girl was pretty upright coming over the first fence, though not so much as Peter is. When her horse stumbled she still wound up on his neck -- but maybe her leaning-back position is why she stayed on.  I'm very impressed with her rapid recovery -- look how quickly she gets back in position!


  1. Aww good boy! And he knew right where to go after it.

    I always wondered whether riding a forgiving horse or a not-so-forgiving horse would make one a better rider? I guess it depends on the rider's confidence level.

  2. Wow... how amazing, inspiring, and extremely impressive!!
    I took a clinic a couple years ago with Sara Mittleider... she is the youngest rider to ever compete at Rolex... she drills people on the "back-seat" position... and if you watch her go cross-country, she definitely practices what she preaches.

  3. I just attended a lecture where the clinician discussed how sitting back like a steeplechase rider, combined with SMALLER knee rolls gets you out of the saddle a half second sooner and allows you to avoid being crushed during rotational falls. This reminded me of that, with the back and upright position. Thanks for the video!

  4. I just attended a lecture where the clinician discussed studies showing that sitting more upright like a steeplechase rider, and having smaller knee rolls gets you out of the saddle a half a second faster and has a better chance of throwing you clear during rotational falls. This reminded me of that, with taking more of a upright and back position. Thanks for the video!

  5. It's interesting you mention seat position when jumping. I was 'raised' with the philosophy that you should always keep you heels underneath you - the whole shoulder/hip/heel alignment. Then I rode with a jumping trainer for awhile and he insisted that for safety you should always be able to see the tip of your toe in front of your knee.

    Thanks for sharing! Good food for thought!

  6. Yep, when I rode cross country, the rule was to "push my foot and heel forward." I would, surprisingly enough, still be able to ride in two point, but it was a two point with my seat actually back over the horse and saddle.

    That is why good cross country saddles are constructed a bit differently than regular hunter/jumper saddles.

  7. Oh that is one sweet save! What a good pony to lock onto the next fence like that (and what a level-headed rider to be able to maintain enough focus to get to the next fence).


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