Training with Markus Beerbaum Taught Chloe Reid The Importance of Flatwork

Chloe Reid grew up riding horses in the traditional American format: She started with a pony, rode for years in the hunters and equitation, and then made the switch to show jumping.

For the last several years, Chloe has been training with international show jumper, Markus Beerbaum, in Germany. Chloe, 22, splits her time in America and Europe. She’s a college student in Miami and still shows on the WEF circuit through the winter. Then the horses head back to Markus’ farm in Germany, where Chloe says her training really begins.

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“Once the horses fly over, they’ll have three weeks of lighter paddock time, which is like a little holiday for them. Markus will keep them in training until the beginning of May, when our show season starts. Then we’ll hit the ground running,” she explained. “When I’m in Europe, I’m there to train.”

The last four years she’s spent riding under Markus’ guidance has been an eye-opening experience, Chloe said.

“A big change I experienced when I started working with Markus is the importance of flatwork,” she said. “His training style is very different from what I’m used to.”

The faster I regroup with the horse, the better prepared I am around the corner.

For example, Chloe described a seat technique she uses in the show jumping arena that would have never crossed her mind before working with Markus.

“One of the most meaningful things he taught me is a technique I use in landings off the jumps. He taught me that when landing, I should sit in the saddle right away, to close the connection between me and the horse,” Chloe described. “I told him it was ‘very German of him‘ to want me to do that. But it was a big change for me, having come up from a hunter upbringing. But I feel the difference. The faster I regroup with the horse, the better prepared I am around the corner.”

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Flatwork also makes up the bulk of her strength and conditioning rides to keep her horses fit through the show season.

“We will go to a show on Thursday, and maybe jump once on the Monday before the show. Typically we just jump them once before competition,” she explained. “We don’t use jumping as a technique to keep them in shape. For that, it’s just flatwork.”

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