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Jumping Clinic

Beezie Madden explains the effect of pinched knees over fences.

Overall: This looks like an aggressive, determined horse-and-rider combination.

Photo 2

Leg/Seat/Upper body: Her foot looks good in the stirrup—it’s on the ball of her foot and the angle in her heel looks good. She looks like she is pinching slightly with her knee. This has not caused her leg to slip back like it did with the first rider, but it has caused her seat to be at the back of the saddle. Because her seat has gone back so far, she has to close her hip angle too much—I would call it ducking—to catch up to the motion of the horse. To fix the pinching knee, this rider should turn her toe out slightly and relax her inner thigh and have some contact on the horse with the inside of her calf.

Eyes/Release: She is looking ahead with determination to the next fence. I like her crest release resting on the horse’s neck, which is giving him the freedom to jump.

Horse: He is not jumping in a classic style with his front end, but he looks competitive. He is wearing his ears back, which can indicate an aggressive, feisty horse who is into his job. It looks like he is going to follow through nicely with his hind end.

Turnout: The rider is not in full show attire, but the turnout looks good. The horse’s coat shines, and his white socks are clean. The tack is well-fitted, and the saddle pad is clean. The rider’s boots have been shined, and her shirt is tucked in nicely.

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 Summer 2021 issue of Practical Horseman.

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