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Jumping Clinic

Beezie Madden critiques a horse-and-rider pair over fences.

Overall: This rider pushes her seat back a little too much causing her to try to jump for her horse.

Photo 2

Leg: This rider’s stirrup is in a good position. Her toes may be turned out a little too far—she could turn them in slightly more to avoid gripping with the back of her leg. If she were to wear spurs with her toes turned out too far, she could inadvertently put them in her horse’s side.

Seat: It looks like she shoves her seat back when she leaves the ground, causing her leg to be too far forward. When you push your seat back, often it’s because you’re trying to jump for the horse. Her seat has caused her to close her hip angle too much because her upper body is trying to catch up with the horse. I’d like to see her keep her hips over the pommel more and let the horse jump up to her.

Upper body: Her eyes are very good. Her back is roached, probably because of her body trying to catch up with the horse.

Release: I love her crest release. It gives the horse freedom with his head and neck, and yet she doesn’t have a big loop in the reins, allowing her to reestablish contact on the landing quickly.

Horse: He has a cute expression, and he’s making a nice effort. He’s not real tidy with his front end, but I like that it’s relaxed and pleasant-looking, and he’s pretty even with both legs. He’s stretching his head and neck forward and down. His withers are up, and he’s round in his back.

Turnout: The bottom of the rider’s boots look a little muddy. Other than that, the turnout is good. Her shirt is tucked in, and her hair is up neatly under the helmet. The tack and horse look clean.

Beezie Madden captured Olympic show-jumping team gold medals in 2004 as well as 2008, where she also earned the individual bronze medal, all riding Authentic. She won the FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in 2013 with Simon and in 2018 with Breitling LS. Other accolades include an Olympic team silver medal in 2016 riding Cortes ‘C’, with whom she also took World Equestrian Games team and individual bronze medals. She won the prestigious 2019 CP ‘International’ at CSIO Spruce Meadows and was voted the 2019 USEF International Equestrian of the Year. She and her husband, John, are based out of John Madden Sales in Cazenovia, New York.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2021 issue.

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