An evaluation of factors affecting show jumping warm-up on subsequent show jumping performance in 1.30m class

Maud M. Chatel, Gillian Tabor, J. R. Williams, Jane Williams

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Show jumping causes physical and physiological stress on horses’ musculoskeletal structures, which can lead to decreased performance and injury. Appropriate warm-ups can enhance performance, decrease injury risk, as well as increase oxygen kinetics for better efficiency. Despite this, little is known for how warm-up routines affect show jumping performance. Forty-five warm-up routines of show jumpers competing in 1.30 m classes were recorded and their content: duration and gaits used, were analysed. Kruskal Wallis analyses with post-hoc Mann Whitney U tests identified if the number of classes combinations competed, types of jumps attempted, warm-up duration, and time spent in each gait during the warm-up varied with rider and horse sex and age, and faults. Spearman correlations assessed if relationships occurred between warm-up duration and content, and the number of faults in the show ring, and horse age. On average warm ups lasted 18:43 ± 12:24 minutes and included at least two jumps (range 2 - 15). Walk and canter were the most common gaits, while upright fences were jumped the most. Knocking down or refusing a fence when warming up did not affect performance in the ring. Male riders jumped uprights twice as much as female riders (p < 0.03) but this did not impact their performances. Combinations who had competed in two previous classes spent longer in walk than those who had competed in one or no previous classes (p < 0.05). Combinations jumping in the class prior to the 1.30m recorded fewer jumping attempts than those that hadn’t jumped previously (P < 0.007). Even though no significant differences were detected, combinations which accumulated > 8 faults spent less time warming-up. These results suggest warm-up tactics, riders and horses’ age and sex did not influence significantly fault accumulation, however warm up routines were influenced by rider decision making and horse age
Original languageEnglish
JournalComparative Exercise Physiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 May 2020

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