2 posts in 2 days?! Who am I??? Someone with some content for once!
So I am a NF Masterclass subscriber and one of the perks of a being a member is access to a private FB group. You may wonder how a private FB group provides any value, but I really have actually enjoyed it. One of the things offered to the NF group members are LiveStreams with industry professionals where they answer your actual questions. For example, they did a FB Live session with a Professional Equine Nutritionist from ProElite. We got to submit our nutrition questions ahead of time and she answered all of them.
This is the video I submitted:
Another opportunity provided to Masterclass members was a video critique by Archie Cox. You could submit a video of you riding, and 15 were selected for him to judge. I am so excited that my video was one of the ones selected! I submitted a round from our last horse show together from October 2019. Below is his response (I’m the 4th video down):
If you don’t want to watch, here are the takeaways:
He started out by saying he thinks I have a great feel and a wonderful horse (happy dance because who doesn’t love positive feedback). He stated that I came into the ring confidently but then started to back pedal a bit to the first jump. GOD YES DO I EVER DO THAT. Proof that I love to do that below:
This is 100% my gut instinct for every first fence. Take, take, take!! I obviously didn’t do it that bad in the video I submitted, but he still picked up on me doing it. He stressed the importance of riding forward, and forward after the jump to get a smoother change. He suggested starting out with a bit more canter, and I agree 100%. He then said Rio is a good jumper (YAY) and basically said the rest of the ride worked out really well.
He then went onto discussing turnout. He liked my overall turnout and said I had appropriate cuff length showing and nice shiny boots. He stated that he felt my martingale was too long, and that the flapping was distracting. I tend to be overly conservative and I never want it too tight. Once I watched the video again, I could see what he meant though. This is obviously an easy fix so that’s good.
He also mentioned trading out my long crop for a shorter one so there will be less distracting movement. I never would have considered a judge noticing crop length, but there you go. I do buy longer crops due to my own preference (I really feel that if you are going to use one then use it behind the leg), so I could easily use one of my barn’s shorter ones in the ring (since it’s more about turnout then actually using it when showing).
His last point on turnout what that he prefers the white pads over the sheepskin ones. Sorry not sorry, you will have to rip my Fleeceworks sheepskin pad from my cold dead fingers. I totally get that trainers/judges have preferences, and he admits it’s a very small thing, but he felt that be fixing these three turnout things it would really finish off our overall presence in the ring.
At the end of the day, I don’t know if Rio will ever get back into the show ring with me, but if he did, I would discuss martingale length with my trainer and grab a shorter crop. I also promise to try to stop sucking back to the first fence. That really is the first real impression a judge gets of you and your horse, and no need to look timid/uncertain right away.
For the level of A shows I go to, I would not change pads. I love mine, and am unwilling to change it just to please a tiny personal preference. That being said, if I ever got to the level where I was traveling a lot farther to more prestigious A shows where the smallest things can make a difference, then I probably would consider switching to a white pad, just to help overall impression.
Anyway, I was so thrilled to have this opportunity! Huge THANK YOU to Archie for doing this!! It really is so exciting to get feedback on my actual ride from someone so involved in the h/j scene. Definitely an awesome perk for NF members, outside of their already amazing content which I have have been watching like crazy during all of this downtime. Tik Maynard is my favorite, although I have enjoyed all the sessions.