UK biomechanical analyst Russell Guire uses high-speed cameras 20 times faster than the human eye to objectively quantify horse behavior.
Top photo: Wear Science
His company, Centaur Biomechanics, specializes in horse and rider performance analysis. The work is so cutting edge, he was charged with testing Britain’s “secret weapon” heading into the 2012 Olympics.
(It was a girth.) (They won the Team Gold in show jumping.)
It’s so valuable Guire has worked with both the British Equestrian World Class Programme and the Federation Equestrian International (FEI).
And it’s so nerdy cool, people call him “the Mark Zuckerberg of equestrian sport.” (And by “people” I mean “me.” Specifically.)
Here are six scientifically proven facts guaranteed to make you a more enlightened horse person, courtesy of Russell Guire. English accent optional.
Guire tests the Fairfax Performance Girth, which claims to reduce peak pressure testing by as much as 85%, increase fore and hind limb extension, and improve symmetry of movement.
Carl Hester was one of several Team Great Britain riders who used the Fairfax Girth at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Here he is performing flying changes during his test:
Do you mount your horse from the ground? You’ll think twice after watching this video.
Gait analysis uses markers to track the joints of the horse, showing whether there are any weakness issues that can be monitored and even managed over time with the goal of preventing further lameness or injury.
So imagine the force going through the horse’s front limbs on the landing of an even larger jump, like this puissance wall at the 2013 Horse of the Year Show.
What about reprogramming riders? Bad habits are easy to form and hard to break. Centaur Biomechanic’s “Visualize” clothing line is designed to help improve rider position.
Carley Sparks covers show jumping and related ridiculousness at getmyfix.org.