Take-off velocity determines jump angle over a 1.10 m vertical fence

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference


The take-off phase of a jumping effort determines the horse’s trajectory over the fence and contributes to the success of the jump. Principles of projectile motion dictate that take-off velocities influence the trajectory of the jump. To our knowledge there is no normative data on the relationship between take-off velocity and take-off angle which can assist riders in their approach to training a horse. It was hypothesised that the horizontal and vertical velocity of the sternum marker would influence the take-off projection angle. Six horses were ridden by their own riders three times over a 1.10 m fence at right lead canter. The marker placed on the horse’s girth was tracked with eight motion capture cameras (200 Hz) to determine 3D displacement, velocity, and its resultant. Take-off was determined as a feature in the resultant velocity relating to hind limb stance. Vertical, horizontal, and resultant velocities at take-off and take-off angle were calculated from kinematic data using the equations of projectile motion. Correlations between variables were tested using Pearson’s correlation. Horizontal velocity was significantly positively correlated with the resultant velocity (r=0.97, P=0.001). Vertical velocity was significantly positively correlated with take-off angle (r=0.93, P=0.001). Horizontal velocity is influenced by the speed of approach and would necessitate greater braking impulse by the forelimbs to reverse the orientation of the horse’s trunk for hindlimb push-off. Increased vertical velocity creates a steeper take-off angle. These results suggests that to influence the shape of the jump riders should focus on increasing vertical velocity.
PeriodAug 2023
Event title9th International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion
Event typeConference
LocationUtrecht, NetherlandsShow on map