The goal of this project is to develop a test with which we can evaluate the physical capabilities of a horse based on both practical and scientific knowledge.
Currently, such a physical test only exists for riders, the human athlete physical capacity test. We use this rider fit test to determine the abilities and competencies of riders and thereby pinpoint strengths and weaknesses. This enables us to give more specific training advice based on the individual’s capabilities.
Of course, the equestrian sport encompasses more than just the human athlete. We must also evaluate the capabilities of our horses. While we are able to test this up to a certain extent under the saddle, as a horse-rider combination, ideally, we would like to measure the horses’ capabilities on its own, separate from its rider. This includes for example the horse’s strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, and coordination, but also their agility and their speed.
We have the ability to measure many of these aspects through the use of well-developed measurement systems such as a heart rate monitor and high-speed cameras. In this project we explore more ways to objectively measure the physical capabilities of a horse. Additionally, we research what the standard requirements are for a good sport horse. This means for example determining how much strength and speed a horse requires for showjumping versus dressage and at the different levels.
By providing an insight into the capacities of the horse without its rider, we can determine which movements or deviators come from the horse itself and which are caused by the influence of the rider. With this information we can give better supported training advice and help riders and horses excel in their goals. We are continuously developing our training services to help give you and your horse the best possible support.