Jumping Clinic with Beezie Madden: Stirrup Placement and Hip Angle

Beezie critiques a rider's jumping position, sharing suggestions for improvements in stirrup placement and hip angle.

First impression: This rider needs to work on where her stirrup is adjusted on her foot.

Leg: Her stirrup placement on her foot is what we call too-far home, which is compromising her leg position. Her heel is up and she’s pinching with her knee to stay on the horse, causing her leg to slip too far back and away from her horse. She needs to move the iron so it’s on the ball of her foot, put her heel down more and grip with her calf and the back of her knee.

Seat: This rider’s hip angle is a little too far closed for this size jump.

Release/Upper body: Her release and back are good, and her eyes are looking ahead to the next fence.

Horse: He’s very cute with his ears forward, and he’s making quite a nice athletic effort over this jump. His knees aren’t as high as the previous horses, but I like that he’s relaxed in his shoulders and his back and that his back is up.

Turnout: This looks like a nice turnout for schooling at home. It’s tidy and the tack fits well. My preference is that a rider’s hair is under the helmet, as long as the fit is still good. Anything that dangles is a safety factor.  

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 Winter 2020 issue.

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