Jumping Clinic with Beezie Madden

Top jumper rider Beezie Madden critiques a rider's position.

Overall: I feel like this rider is forcing her position a little with her seat dropped back and her back too arched. She needs to relax her angles a little more.

Leg: It’s hard to tell from this angle, but it looks as if this rider’s stirrup is too far out on her toes. The iron should be on the ball of the foot for security. I think she’s also begun to pinch more with her knee for balance and support rather than having them be in the stirrup and ankle.

Seat: Pinching with her knee has caused her seat to go back and her hip angle to close quite a bit in order to catch up with the horse’s jump. To make her base better, she needs to adjust the iron and grip with the back of her calf. Then she’ll be able to open her hip angle and still keep her balance.

Release: She’s demonstrating a very good long crest release, which I like for her level. It gives the horse the most freedom to jump.

Upper body: Her eyes are looking at the next fence. Her head is turned a bit far, but I think that’s just the moment the camera caught. She could relax her back just a bit.

Horse: The horse is not classic with his legs because his forearm should be a little higher, but his knees are even. His expression is good and his ears are pricked, which shows that he’s happy and interested in his job. His bascule for this size fence is quite good.

Turnout: Everything looks clean, and the horse seems to be in good health. For jumpers I almost prefer them to not be braided like this horse because some horses are irritated by braids and feel they can’t use their heads and necks. The rider’s chin strap may be a little loose, though it’s hard to tell.

This article was originally published in the Summer 2019 issue of Practical Horseman. 

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