This article discusses the kinematics and dynamics of equestrian show jumping. For some time I have attended a series of show jumping events at Spruce Meadows, an international equestrian center near Calgary, Alberta, often referred to as the “Wimbledon of equestrian jumping.” I have always had a desire to write an article such as this one, but when I searched the Internet for information and looked at YouTube presentations, I could only find simplistic references to Newton's laws and the conservation of mechanical energy principle. Nowhere could I find detailed calculations. On the other hand, there were several biomechanical articles with empirical reports of the results of kinetic and dynamic investigations of show jumping using high-speed digital cameras and force plates. They summarize their results in tables that give information about the motion of a horse jumping over high fences (1.40 m) and the magnitudes of the forces encountered when landing. However, they do not describe the physics of these results.

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