In this intriguing project we are working with Stübben to evaluate the effect of the saddle tree on a horse’s jumping performance.

The main component of this project is to look at comparisons between saddle tree designs to make new and interesting discoveries about how this affects the horse’s movement over the jump. By providing an insight into the effect on performance, it allows Stübben to ensure they are designing and producing the best possible saddle trees.

During our research, the locomotion of the horse and the movement of the rider are evaluated using the EquInnoLab. MOTION system. Above the most reliable, world coordinate true data, it is also the least error-sensitive when measuring a large group of horse-rider combinations; i.e. once the video is recorded, nothing can go lost anymore. The system uses markers placed on joints of the horse-rider combination and we record the movement with high-speed cameras. Our specifically developed software then translates these videos into motion data.

With our hypothesis, we evaluate the saddle trees and see if there are performance differences. Our first step is determining the performance indicators of movement that are influenced by the saddle tree. For example, movements of the shoulder, back, and spine. Based on this, the corresponding marker model will be established that allows us to test each of these parameters. In parallel, we will set up testing days to start collecting data. Due to the many external influences, we will need to test a large number of horse-rider combinations to be able to state significant differences in performance. We hope to be able to set up testing days in a fun, interactive way where we plan to invite ambitious riders to participate with their horses. However, due to the current COVID regulations in place, this might need to be performed in smaller groups. Please keep track of our news page or contact us if you are interested in participating.

We are very excited about this amazing opportunity to work with the remarkable saddles of Stübben and their team to bring about interesting new insights on this topic.

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