BY LAUREN MAULDIN
Careful observation is a great way to learn about riding. After all, there are 500 reasons why I’m never going to ride in a Grand Prix class, but I certainly learn a lot by watching them.
Nothing can beat actually being at the horse show watching trips for hours in real time. However, not many of us can hop up whenever we want and jet off to a FEI class. Video is great, but I’ve always loved the still detail of a photo.
A few weeks ago, I watched the $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix at HITS Coachella VI. Sitting right by the first fence of the jump off, I snapped a photo of each horse’s “game face” as they approached it. To me, there’s a lot to study in these photos.
What is the horse’s expression like? What tack choices did the rider make? What is the rider doing with their hands? The intricacies of their communication is frozen in a single photograph right before the first fence of a very important class.
I find it fascinating. What do you think?
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