Objective—To determine whether differences in jumping technique among horses are consistent at various ages.
Animals—12 Dutch Warmblood horses.
Procedure—Kinematics were recorded during free jumps of horses when they were 6 months old (ie, no jumping experience) and 4 years old (ie, the horses had started their training period to become show jumpers). Mean ± SD height of the horses was 1.40 ± 0.04 m at 6 months of age and 1.70 ± 0.05 m at 4 years of age.
Results—Strong correlations were found between values from 6-month-old foals and 4-year-old horses for variables such as peak vertical acceleration generated by the hind limbs ( r, 0.91), peak rate of change of effective energy generated by the hind limbs ( r, 0.71), vertical velocity at takeoff ( r, 0.65), vertical displacement of the center of gravity during the airborne phase ( r, 0.81), and duration of the airborne phase ( r, 0.70).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although there are substantial anatomic and behavioral changes during the growing period, certain characteristics of jumping technique observed in naïve 4-year-olds are already detectable when those horses are foals. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:945–950)