Jumping has a popular role in almost all sports. In all sports, the art of it is taught vigorously. This article is focusing on the art of horse jumping. It is not as easy as it sounds and it includes the biomechanics of jumping with thorough practice and research involved.
There is no hard and fast rule in relation to horse jumping. But for teaching the purpose, the process is broken into five phases:
The Approach in Horse Jumping
This is the first part but has a very important role because if the rider messes this step, the whole show will go down. This is where the horse takes the take off. The correct approach is with the horse having neck lower in position. The legs should be in front of the body. This is also known as an act of crouching so that the take-off is high and smooth, and it will prevent the horse from sliding down the ground.
Take-off in Horse Jumping
This phase is where the hind legs and forelegs leave the said ground and are in the air where they have the least effort and control over themselves. One thing to remember is once the horse is in the air, he won’t be able to influence his center of mass, given he has no more contact with the ground. Now, this makes take off the most difficult phase to clear.
The focus in this phase will not be the forelegs but the hindlegs because they will leave the ground at last. The key to success is the more they will have contact with the ground, the higher is the power produced. The compression pushed by hindlegs will generate power making it a beautiful takeoff. Of this step is done correctly, the horse will jump like a spring.
Flight, or Airborne In Horse Jumping
In the phase of flight, the horse will be in a parabolic trajectory; in this, the horse will have absolutely no control over the center of the mass. It is why the first two steps are crucial when things are under control of the horse. Although the horse can change the position as per the circumstance required.
The horse jumping will rotate through the air; this is called bascule, which is horse’s arc over the fence. The better the bascule, the better will be the jump. The bascule will make it in a rounded and higher position. The obstacle her will be clear out by the hindlegs who will create a retroflex out of the body. During the flight phase, even the rider will have minimal impact on the horse’s body.
The landing will be with forelegs first and then hindlegs. Because forelegs are landing first, they will have a lot of strain.
Recovery in Horse Jumping
This is where after the landing, the horse tries to regain some inertia and tries to absorb the whole process. In this phase, the horse might portray some discomfort.
This sport has many world records, and it is a celebrated sport.