Overall: This is quite a pleasing picture—I like seeing a kid on a pony that’s a suitable size.
Leg: The angles in the rider’s ankle and knee are good, but her foot is turned out a little too far. I should see only the outside bar of the iron.
Hip angle: I also like the angle in her hip. She looks like she’s in beautiful balance with the pony’s motion.
Upper body/release: She has a nice short crest release, but for this level and division—it looks like it’s a hunter class—I’d like to see a little more release. In a hunter division, the goal should be that the horse or pony looks like he’s doing a lot of the work on his own and helping out his rider. With so much contact in the air, this pony doesn’t look like he’s doing that or has enough freedom. Otherwise, the rider has a beautiful flat back in the air.
Pony: This pony is cute, and he looks sweet and safe. He could have his front end a little higher and tighter, but he jumps in a nice style with a good bascule.
Turnout: The rider’s turnout is excellent with clothes that fit well and shined boots. The pony’s turnout is pretty good. His coat is a little rough-—I'd like to see more shine and bloom—but it could be the time of year. For her level of riding, I’d like to see her using two reins with the pelham bit, so she can ride mainly with the snaffle rein and use the curb only if the pony is getting strong. It’s hard to see, but some keepers might be out. You want to make sure they are tucked in for a neater look and to avoid distracting the pony.
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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. Most recently, she won the prestigious CP ‘International’ at CSIO Spruce Meadows last September. She and her husband, John, are based out of John Madden Sales in Cazenovia, New York.
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 issue.