Recently, Ariat sat down with Beezie Madden to talk about training, career highlights and the journey to the Olympic Games.
Ariat: What’s your most inspirational win?
Beezie: For a win I would have to say the World Cup final with Simon (2015 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Del Mar).
Ariat: That’s very exciting! What exercises do you do to keep in shape for riding?
Beezie: I have somewhat of a problem with my lower back so I do a lot of stretching every morning. Then, I try to do a lot of core strength work. When I’m in Florida, we go to the gym 3 nights a week and meet with a trainer. After that I try to do stuff at home here in the basement that we can use and just try to keep up with it in the summer.
Ariat: What does a typical training day at home consist of, in the 6 days of the year you’re home? How many days a week do you flat versus jumping a horse in training?
Beezie: I’d say that in a typical day, I start riding at 8 and probably do an average of 5 horses a day when I’m at home. Depending on if we have a big show we’re getting ready for, I might do more than that. As far as jumping or flatting, the majority for sure is flatting but it really depends on the time of year. Right now we’ve just gotten back from Florida, and most of the horses are very fit to jumping. They’ve done a lot, so they won’t jump for another 2 weeks or so. Other horses that didn’t go out in Florida might be jump a little on the weekend here, but not more than 3 days a week when we’re at home, even if we are trying to get them fit for something.
Ariat: Is there a horse that made you become a better rider, and why?
Beezie: I think every horse has helped me become a better rider, really. My first international horse was Northern Magic, and he was a difficult one to manage for his soundness and because he was very careful. He needed a lot of confidence and a lot of accurate riding. I’d have to say he was probably my first horse that really, with the management of everything and also the riding, helped me progress.
Ariat: If you have anxiety with jumping higher, how do you handle it?
Beezie: I’d say when you have anxiety about anything really, you just have to rely on your basics. Also that you have a trainer who is telling you the right thing and they wouldn’t be asking you to do something you’re not capable of doing. And also that you have confidence that your horse is at least capable of that or even more qualified than to do what you’re asking it to.
Ariat: What advice would you have for riders looking to start jumping competitively?
Beezie: My advice to young riders wanting to get started jumping competitively is to get with the best trainer available to you. Without the right instruction, it can be very frustrating, but with the right instruction, jumping competitively is very exciting and rewarding.