When your horse is on the vertical all throughout the jump, you know something is wrong with your hands. That should be one of the first things a rider learns when beginning to jump.
And yet we have people that are competing with that kind of flaw. Contrary to popular belief, I do not have a problem with beginner riders, or even not-so-great riders (as I am one myself). However I DO have issues with riders who think they need to rush and do things they're not ready for. Even worse is when those riders are completely blind to their lack of skill and continue to move on to more advanced levels before they've mastered the one they're at. The first rider looks really good except for the absence of any kind of release, but that's an important factor. You can hurt your horse if you yank his mouth over jumps.
My trainer had me release over TROT POLES. She would screech at me until she turned red and veins popped in her neck if I didn't get it right. That's when her devil horns come out and she threatens violence against me if I continue to screw up. Not really, but she gets scary as hell. So does Victor, and he's even scarier than Lorena when he's pissed off. Heehee...
Anyway... How much are you willing to bet that none of the riders like the one up top have ever ridden anything but schoolmasters? Their horses must have the temperaments of puppy dogs and about $10,000 worth of professional training.
This rider is another ballgame. There aren't many good things about this photo other than the gorgeous, saintly pinto. I think you can pick out the issues for yourselves.
Again, the horse's nose is cranked in because the rider is leaning on the reins. Bet that hollow back feels real good during landing. The whole thing just looks tense and unbalanced. Horses should look natural over jumps. Not like a 15th century painting of Pegasus leaping into the air. Your horse is not a magical pony. He has a wind pipe and vertebrae that can easily be damaged in the hands of a careless or unskilled rider.
This one isn't all that bad, but it made me laugh. I'm not sure why her stirrups are so short, but that's probably why she's stuck in the chair position. This ended up on the blog because they used it as a sale photo. All they had to do was look at this to realize that it looks goofy and maybe they should have fixed her leathers and taken another picture. Oy.
Okay, last one. I didn't think much of this at first, just one of the thousands of fuglies for sale. I figured the sellers were typical fugly owners because the poor mare's name is Silly. And because she appears to be underweight. But that's to be expected from fugly owners.
But then I saw that they're asking $3000 for her.
Okay. You do not ask a small fortune for a horse that looks like that. No one with a decent head on their shoulders is going to fork over that kind of money for weak, ugly hindquarters and an ewe neck. Her coloring is stunning, but that means nothing to anyone who knows anything about conformation. She will never be athletic, so how do they figure she's worth three grand? There are better horses in auctions that are going for 18 cents a pound as I write this. It makes no sense.