Friday, June 25, 2010

the big bay blend, and some jumping position critiques

I realized one day this week that my favorite Trader Joe's coffee has special meaning around here - when I glanced at the container and saw "Bay Blend" of course I thought of the Big Bay! I think Trader Joe's should rethink the design for this particular blend - can't you just see a photo of Keil Bay galloping up our hill? Rich and full of flavor indeed!

On another note entirely, the below is NOT the Big Bay. And although I'm impressed with the horse and the height of the jump, the rider's position is possibly the worst I've ever seen considering this is apparently a top, winning rider.

Not naming names, and in any case, it's not a name I recognized when I ran into the photo online earlier today. But what ever happened to a balanced seat over jumps?

Could I do any better? I don't know. I wasn't taught to jump that way, when I was younger and actually taking decent-sized jumps. Whether I could stay on today is one issue, but I feel fairly confident in saying that my hands would never go where those hands are. I don't *think* my legs would go that far back, either, but that's a harder call since I haven't jumped anything of consequence in so many years. 

So I'm critiquing from the safety of my computer chair. Can't believe that is what a winning rider looks like, though. Wow.

I looked for some photos of what I consider balanced seat jumping and found these old cavalry riders. Note the difference - legs, hands, overall balance and being one with the horse in a way that allows the horse to best take the jump.

J reminded me of Kathy Kusner and this photo she has pointed me to before wrt jumping position. What a gorgeous jump, and notice the rein, which is not at all tight or restraining. Something to emulate. (in my dreams, at this stage of my life)


Anonymous said...

You see a lot of bad positions even from top riders these days - the looking down with legs back is common - it certainly can't be helping the horse out.

I love the old photos of Bill Steinkraus - perfect position and the horses always look so happy.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I think the Big Bay would be perfect for that can. They could definitely use a handsome spokeshorse to boost their sales dramatically.

Possibly one of the worst forms over jumps I've ever seen too. That said it's easy for me to critique them from my chair and I'm not so sure I could stay on over those jumps either.'s pretty poor riding.

billie said...

Kate, I'll have to look up some Bill Steinkraus photos - the first one I've posted is Walter Schweitzer and the second one is I believe a member of the Italian Cavalry back in the day.

We've had some difficulty finding trainers who don't teach the crest release and/or "ass in the air" position. It's frustrating. Right now, jumping bareback is the best teacher we've found.

billie said...

Arlene, I think T. Joe's would realize a huge bump in sales if they used the Big Bay as spokes horse. :)

I have tried to sort out in the photo where the left rein actually IS. It almost looks like it's flopped over the horse's head to the other side! One wonders what happens upon landing this jump in this position. :/

jme said...

had to stop by when i heard jumping critique was the topic of the day! sad to say, but i have seen worse positions over fences, even among the 'top' riders. but then we all know i'm not often impressed with riders these days.

and if the rider in the photo is who i think it might be, i have seen him up close and personal on a horse and it's the grand prix crest release with ass in the air all the way. but then, if it's who i'm thinking of, he's a george morris clone, and that's how they all ride :-/

it makes the horses all that much more impressive when you think of all the bad riding they have to cope with on top of the big jumps!

and speaking of impressive horses, i think the big bay should definitely be featured on that can! time to send letters? ;-)

billie said...

j, email me and I will tell you who it is.

I knew this would roust you out!! :)

ponymaid said...

Billie, I thought "Big Bay Blend - Delightfully Bold but never Brazen" might work but Jack likes "Big Bay Blastin' Cap Blend - leaves ya Bustin at the Seams".

billie said...

LOL, Sheaffer - you and Jack need to be advertising execs!