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          8 points for progress over jumps

          Thursday, May 2, 2019

          During a jumping session (mobile obstacle or cross-country), the CEEFIT (alone or with the CEEFIT Pulse & ECG) provides you with valuable information. This will enable you to achieve the best progress to the obstacle. Combined with sensations and the rider's impressions coach's impressions, this data helps organize and analyze training sessions. With this in mind, here are a few keys to understanding and and use jumping indicators in jumping work.

          CEEFIT and CEEFIT Pulse & ECG at the obstacle

          Estimate the effort required to keep your horse healthy.

          Heart rate data, energy expenditure, time spent at each pace or average speed and distance covered. All these data give you information on thephysical intensity of your session, from your horse's point of view. For a jumping session, you will have access to other information that will allow you to maintain the health and fitness of your horse.

          1) Number and height of jumps

          First of all, the number and height of jumps madein the session is a good indicator.ected in the session is a good indicator. When working on a mechanisation device or sequence, there is often a tendency to lose count.

          However, this is a very important factor to monitor. Even when you don't jump very high. 30 or even 50 repeated landings will have an impact on the significant impact on the locomotor system of the horse.

          For example, in this illustration on the summary page, a session of 14 jumps at an average height of 97cm is a very moderate effort. very moderate effort. It's easy to imagine several sessions a week at this pace, as the horse has not been overtaxed. 

          Please note that the height data obtained corresponds to the position of the strap in relation to the ground and not the height of your obstacle.

          It is recommended to limit yourself to 50 jumps per session and 80 jumps per week. Obviously, this advice should be qualified according to the height of the obstacles. Between cavalettis and 1.60m obstacles, there is a wide margin!

          Why is it interesting for the rider?

          The interest of these measurements is to to quantify the effort made by the horse. The height of the jump is of course not the only relevant data, but it does give an indication of the energy required by the horse to rise and clear the proposed bar, and it allows (as the rider generally knows at least approximately the height of the obstacle) to to be aware of the horse's tendencies

          Sometimes the rider can be misled by sensations of power and speed and therefore overestimate the jump height of an energetic horse with a good kick, or on the contrary underestimate that of a less tense horse. The sensor makes it possible to quantify objectively The sensor allows the rider to have access to this data, which would otherwise only be available through video analysis with prior calibration.

          2) Shocks absorbed at reception

          This is why Seaver also quantifies the total energy of the landing shocks. It is a complementary data that allows you to realise the effort absorbed by your horse's limbs (mainly the front legs). Indeed, at the end of each jump, part of the mechanical energy due to the movement is conserved and re-used in the forward movement. But some of it is dissipated both through the ground and the Equine damping system.

          In this way, the spread of the heels, the sinking of thethird phalanx into the foot pad and the extension of the tendons of the forelegs will help to cushion your weight and that of your horse. Of course, the floor quality plays an important role in reducing the forces involved; this is why the flooring too hard or on the contrary too deepor unevenare to be avoided.

          The higher and stronger your horse jumps, the more vertical the landing and the greater the shock absorbed. However, the The data obviously varies according to the horse.l, and the characteristics of each jump.

          Why is it interesting for the rider?

          It is the average over the session that provides an indication of the stresses imposed on the locomotor system. Thus, in a classic session, one should try to stay below 70kJ in total. On courses of 12-15 obstacles at heights greater than 130cm, this value will frequently be exceeded. This is not a problem, you just need to be aware of the intensity of the exercise. Adapt the grounds and care and try not to repeat these strenuous efforts too closely. This will allow you to to preserve the physical capital as much as possible of the athlete.

          Detecting anomalies to anticipate physical problems.

          3) The symmetry of the thrust

          The symmetry of the hind leg drive provides information on the health of the locomotor system of the jumping horse. This score reflects the left/right symmetry of the propulsion. That is, it analyses how well your horse uses his back and hindquarters to push himself over the obstacle. For a perfect horse, on each jump the score should be 50% I 50% for both hind legs. This means that the horse exercises the The same force on each limb at the moment of the call. He then rises straight along his axis.

          However, it's not uncommon to get a lower score on certain jumps during the session. Don't let this worry you. This is the case, for example, when a horse is worried about a new obstacle or a piece of scenery. He will then abruptly change trajectory as he approaches it. Or in the case of a wrong place. In this situation, it won't always be the same hind leg that's "weak". That is, the one with the lowest percentageFor example, the right hind leg in the illustration above.

          Why is it interesting for the rider?

          On the overall score, the further away from perfect 50/50, the more asymmetrical the horse. Below 5% average difference (over 10 jumps or more), you need to start watching closely. Especially if the horse was previously symmetrical! If this result is repeated over several successive sessions, it may be worth seeking the advice of an osteopath or veterinarian.

          Indeed a Asymmetrical thrusting may indicate discomfort or pain in a hind leg or back. This can sometimes also be the result of a concern in a foreleg or shoulder. As the horse anticipates and seeks to reduce the pain on landing. Detecting this type of problem as early as possible generally allows for better management. If necessary, a faster recovery. The more the horse jumps and functions in its asymmetry, the more likely it is to aggravate the problem. He may also want to compensate and therefore risk creating further damage.

          Modeling jumps to improve technique.

          In addition to the health aspect, the jump indicators also provide information on the jumps made from a more technical point of view. By detailing the data for each jump, and associating it with the profile of the obstacle jumped, it is easy to see how the jump was performed.This is a good way to analyse the situation and improve future jumps.

          4) The angle and amplitude of the jump: its parabola

          First of all, it should be kept in mind that the sensor does not detect the obstacle being jumped. The height indicated for each jump is the maximum height the sensor has reached (i.e. the sternum of the horse) during the jump. Depending on the horse and the jump profile, this height is 20 to 50cm higher than the actual height of the jumped obstacle. This is even taking into account the space occupied by the front legs and the margin left.

          For a young horse, or a very demonstrative animal, the margin can be much higher. This is also the case for holes or unbarred rivers, for example. In the photo opposite, for a bar at 95cm (in blue), the height detected will be around 120cm, as the added margin (in red) is close to 25cm. This doesn't mean that the horse cleared 120cm with its limbs. Indeed, his limbs were probably hanging a little lower. But he did cross them with his sternum. To find out more, read our article on jump height functionality.

          The sensor also does not detect the position of the obstacle in relation to the jump made.

          For horses that have a tendency to shift their trajectory (forward or backward), a fault can be committed even though the height of the jump is greater than the height of the obstacle. This is the case for horses that are still in the upward phase or already in the downward phase above the bar. The top of the trajectory is no longer above the obstacle, or if he leaves a foot dragging. For these situations, the rider's feeling, the coach's eye and possibly video assistance will be necessary. For all others, Seaver data comes to the rescue!

          The first feature to be analyzed jump by jump is jump trajectory: height, reach and angle of attack. For an oxer or a volée jump, the angle of attack will be smaller than for a vertical of corresponding height, and the reach will be greater. Indeed, on a vertical, the horse will have to cover less ground than on an oxer (because the oxer is wider).

          As the height of the obstacle increases, so do the angle and reach. The angle is always greater for a vertical than an oxer. Volley obstacles have a longer reach.

          Why is it interesting for the rider?

          This distance on the ground allows you to have a better view of your horse's trajectory, in order to adapt it better and to be more at ease in combinations and other lines.
          There is of course no perfect value, it all depends on the obstacles you have jumped and what you want.

          The angle measures the horse's verticality at the moment of take-off. The greater the angle, the higher the horse rises. The smaller the angle, the more the horse throws itself forward. For example, if a horse is slow in the forelegs and needs to be given room in front, we'll try to favour large angles. For a small angle, you'll need to take off further from the first vertical plane to clear the same height without fault. Reach is very useful to analyze in a line or combination. In addition to the amplitude of the strides between the obstacles, the position of the landing of the first element is fundamental in respecting a stride contract. An error in front on the second element of a double can sometimes be explained by a jump that is too "flat" on the first.

          5) The strike force

          The striking force reflects the horse's reactivity and the power he develops in the jump. Of course, the higher the obstacle, the greater the strike should be. It is also greater on a vertical jump than on a long jump. The higher the obstacle, the greater the force applied.

          We express typing in g ("ge"). This is the vertical acceleration of the horse at the beginning of the upward phase of the jump. 1g corresponds to the average gravity of the earth (9.81m/s²). A horse's kick is normally between 1g and 2g.

          Why is it interesting for the rider?

          More than the value itself, you should be interested in its evolution. For the same horse and the same obstacle, a higher strike indicates a horse that is diligent. The horse is perhaps investing too much effort. He is doing more than necessary, and increases his risk of injury. On the other hand, a horse with a lower strike may be tired or suffering from a loss of form. It could also be a horse that is a bit lazy and needs to be motivated to work harder on its obstacles.

          6) Upward speed

          The upward speed is the vertical speed of the horse during the rising phase of the jump. It is not the speed on the ground before jumping, but the speed in the air, and only upwards. It is generally understood to be between 10 and 20km/h. It can reach 30km/h in some horses. It is a good indicator of the horse's reactivity, but also a precious information for the dams. This is an objective indicator of the well known phenomenon of the horse "losing time in the air".

          Why is it interesting for the rider?

          A low speed may indicate a horse that is holding back a littleThis type of horse needs much more power to clear the jump than another. This type of horse then needs much more kick than another to clear the obstacle, he will tire faster. On the contrary, a high speed may reflect a horse that is rushing into the jump and does not take the time to articulate well. Mechanisation lines without rider intervention will help to correct this problem.

          7) Cadence on approach

          The analysis of the jump also involves the study of its approach, in particular the cadence and its variation. The locomotion data (excluding the jump) indicates the average cadence of the horse at the canter over the session (generally between 90 and 110 strides/min). To learn more about the cadence measured by Seaver, read the related article.

          For each jump, the cadence at the start is calculated over the last 5 strides before the jump. Its value should not be too different from the value on the flat at the end of the relaxation, or between the obstacles. Working at home or with a coach, one can thus quantify the ideal "show gallop" to go jumping. This is calculated according to the level of the tests and the locomotion of the horse.

          Why is it interesting for the rider?

          Ideally, and except for particular exercises, the same cadence values should be found on all jumps, whether they are isolated or in combination. Of course, this will not be the case if you are working on a barrage (with higher cadences) or on the contrary on gymnastics and relaxation on small obstacles (with lower cadences).

          In general, when approaching an obstacle, we try to maintain a stable pace.(Note that we are talking about the frequency of strides here, not their amplitude. ) This is why a small indicator informs you about the evolution of the cadence over the last 5 strides before the jump: increasing, stable or decreasing . It is not necessarily harmful not to have a stable cadence, if that is what you are looking for; but you must be aware of it.

          In a hunter-type round, we always tend to look for a stable cadence. A decreasing cadence may indicate a horse (or rider) who is falling asleep in his approach.. It can also indicate that he's looking at and backing away from the bar. An increasing cadence is more likely to be seen in a horse who is rushing, often to the detriment of the horse's movement.often to the detriment of longitudinal balance.

          8) The jumping offset

          Finally, for each jump: the offset is data collected by the application. This is the change in orientation of the horse's body between the call of the forelegs and the reception of the hindlegsmeasured in degrees (°). Between 0° and 1°, the horse is considered not to have shifted: it remains perfectly straight. Below 10°, it's a slight shift. Beyond that, the shift is considered significant. Always try to reduce the offset as much as possible. The more a horse shifts, the greater the risk of touching the bar as it twists. What's more, in a line or combination, it's very complicated to respect a precise contract with a horse that shifts.

          The origins of this phenomenon can be multiple: a dissymmetrical push of the horse because of a pain, a well anchored habit, a rider himself dissymmetrical in his position or in his requests (hands, legs)... In all cases, allowing the horse to shift or twist will encourage it to continue. Once the physical causes have been ruled out, work with blocks or triangle bars can help to straighten the jump. Adequate work on the rider's physical preparation to re-lateralise will also be beneficial.

          It is possible to have a perfectly flat jump trajectory (0°) by jumping completely to the right, if you stay on the same line. Similarly, a slant, even at 45° to the front of the obstacle, does not cause a shift. Indeed, the horse must keep the same orientation before, during and after the jump.

          Why is it interesting for the rider?

          Since the sensor doesn't know where the obstacle is, it can't measure whether it's crossed perpendicularly and in the middle. As with many indicators, one-off data (on a jump) is interesting. But it is above all the average over the session that is relevant. If a horse shifts once to the right, even strongly, we can assume it's an incident. On the other hand, if a horse systematically shifts to the same side, we can think of a physical or technical problem, on the part of the horse or rider, which needs to be identified and corrected.

          We can consider that the horse (or the couple) has a recurrent problem of shift if on 3 successive jumping sessions, we have more than 5 jumps where the shift is important, or if the average of the shift to the right or to the left is higher than 10°. In these cases, it is likely that the rider loses lateral control of the horse when approaching the obstacle. We advise a lot of work on the flat and on bars on the ground or cavaletti, favouring the conservation of the axis.

          One can also consider that a problem exists if the horse always shifts to the same side. Even slightly (over 70% of jumps shifted to the same side). It will be necessary to look at the rider's aids (seat, hands, legs) and check that it is not the rider who induces this shift. A physical problem can also cause this type of behaviour.

          In a nutshell,

          Mastering all these indicators allows you to better analyse your session, jump by jump and on average. We thus take into account the effort provided by the horse and the errors or technical successes achieved. This allows adapt the best possible training programme to do progress all in preserving health capital. In addition to the absolute point values, the evolution between sessions, and the comparison between horses or riders on the same exercise are very interesting tracks to study.

          And if you'd like to improve your jumping technique, check out this first video of the "A horse that's available and manageable" program by our partner rider Edward Levy!

          See you soon for a new article,

          The Seaver team 🙂