An evaluation of factors affecting show jumping warm-up on subsequent show jumping performance in 1.30m class

Maud M. Chatel, Gillian Tabor, J. R. Williams, Jane Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
300 Downloads (Pure)


Show jumping causes physical and physiological stress on horses’ musculoskeletal structures, which can lead to decreased performance and injury. Appropriate warm-ups can enhance performance, decrease injury risk, as well as increase oxygen kinetics for better efficiency. Despite this, little is known for how warm-up routines affect show jumping performance. Forty-five warm-up routines of show jumpers preparing to enter the show ring were recorded and analysed. Kruskal Wallis analyses with post-hoc Mann Whitney U tests identified if the number of classes combinations completed, types of jumps attempted, warm-up duration, and time spent in each gait during the warm-up varied with rider and horse sex and age, and faults. Spearman correlations assessed if relationships occurred between warm-up duration and content, and the number of faults in the show ring, and horse age. Warm-up ranged from 3:51 to 62:46 min (median 15:09 min) and included at least two jumps (range 2-15). Walk was the most common gait, while upright fences were jumped the most. Knocking down or refusing a fence when warming up did not affect performance. Male riders jumped uprights twice as much as female riders (P<0.03) but this did not impact their performances. Jumping a class prior to the 1.30 affected warm-up, competitors spent longer on the flat before jumping in they had competed earlier in the day (P<0.05) and had fewer jump attempts if they had competed in the class just prior to the 1.30 m (P<0.007). Even though no significant differences were detected, combinations which accumulated >8 faults spent less time warming up. These results suggest warm-up tactics, riders and horses’ age and sex did not influence significantly fault accumulation in the show ring, however warm up routines were influenced by rider decision making and horse age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-121
Number of pages13
JournalComparative Exercise Physiology
Issue number2
Early online date1 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2021


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