The Biomechanics of Movement of Horses Engaged in Jumping Over Different Obstacles in Competition and Training

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Abstract

There exist numerous scientific studies, which are evaluating the biomechanics of the jumping movement of horse and rider over different types of obstacles. The most important results of the kinematic and kinetic investigations are the takeoff position, the acceleration of the hind limbs at takeoff as well as the load of the fore limbs at landing. The starting position directly before takeoff is described by the angle of the trunk, the associated height of the center of gravity (CG), and by the distances of the hind limbs to the obstacle. The acceleration of the hind limbs at takeoff, which is expressed by the vertical and horizontal velocity of takeoff at CG, is a further important indicator for a successful overcoming of a given obstacle. Based on the landing, the load bearing of the fore limbs is an important factor with regard to a long-term health maintenance of horses tendons. From methodological point of view, the majority of investigations use a variety of visual methods in two dimensions. Occasionally, accelerometers and force plates were used to get further information. A combination of visual methods and accelerometer seems to be promising.

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