In this series, judge Randy Roy critiques riders’ positions over fences, praising good form and pointing out flaws and how to correct them. We are looking for brave souls to send us their photos! Email your high-resolution jumping pics to

Julia Baskin and Leopold

Julia Baskin and Leopold (credit: Life With Horses Photography)

Photo by: Life With Horses Photography

– Beautiful upper body
– Release is textbook-perfect
– Looking straight ahead to the next jump

Needs Improvement
– Could relax the heel
– Come back closer to the saddle
– Heel down a little and the above will happen

Overall: A+
A class act; both horse and rider compliment each other. Might have to write another book and use this for the cover!


Stephanie Ackland and Bittersweet

Stephanie Ackland and Bittersweet (credit: Robyn Buckler photo)

Photo by Robyn Buckler

– You have a great look
– Impressive lower leg – take note that the heel is down and the stirrup is correctly placed
– Leg is amply applied to the horse
– Upper body is closed beautifully with the jump

Needs Improvement
– Arm and release could come up and forward slightly
– Relax the hand and arm you have the crop in and bring your elbow closer to your side
– Drop the crop if you can! He looks to be really honest.

Overall: A
Smile – you have done it all right and your reward is getting an amazing jump with a very happy horse.

Chloe MacEachern and Periwinkle

Chloe Maceachern and Periwinkle

– Great give over the jump, a good release
– Totally in the middle of your horse
– You look confident and capable. You have it all going for you!

Needs Improvement
– Release could be a bit higher into the crest
– Seat maybe a little lower and closer to the tack
– Heel could drop down slightly

Overall: A
You are riding beautifully and making me want your horse. He is putting it all out there – great expression.


Alexandra Schella and Ma Belle

Alexandra Schella and Ma Belle

– A back-end shot – not always the best angle for critique
– Good upper body and giving enough for the height of the jump
– Eye focused and good concentration; leg firmly applied

Needs Improvement
– Too much of a floating release; needs to find a home that is into the crest
– Knee needs to relax
– Heel needs to come down – think ‘sink down and land in your heel’

Overall: B
You have a lot going for you, very determined with an accomplished look.


Andy Rechsteiner and Ruby Red

Andy Rechsteiner, Ruby Red

– Just enough out of the tack for the jump height
– Happy expression – love that!
– The whole upper body is right where it should be

Needs Improvement
– Need to relax the fist grip
– Let the elbow come in closer to your sides
– Stirrup more to the ball of the foot and the heel will come down in place

Overall: B+
You make me feel that you know what you are doing and are enjoying it. That is what it is all about.

Samira Rechsteiner and Secretly Coy Assets

Samira Rechsteiner and Secretly Coy Assets (credit: Life With Horses Photography)

Samira Rechsteiner and Secretly Coy Assets (credit: Life With Horses Photography)

– Okay, you are getting the job done
– Determined, positive look
– In the centre of your horse
– Looking ahead to the next jump

Needs Improvement
– If you bring your leg forward and your heel down, you will not lay on his neck for balance
– Release needs a longer rein and lift it up to press into his crest
– No jacket is fine – but please find a belt for your breeches

Overall: C
This can all easily improve. Practice what I have said and send me another photo, as it as all there. I like your determination.


Randy Roy is a senior international judge and course designer. He owns and operates Hunters Glen show stable in King, ON.