Measuring the take-off force to spare the horses

​When Gothenburg Horse Show 2018 sets off, it’s world premier for the down-dug weight scales, and measures, the students at Chalmers have developed during a year at the university. By measuring the force of the horse jump, they hope to be able to spare the horses.

​For the third year in a row, the Gothenburg Horse Show is working with Chalmers University of Technology to determine the ultimate jump trajectory for horses. This year, they’ll be measuring the force of the horses’ take-off and landing through help from the Chalmers students – something that has never been done before. We met large parts of the project group at the Johanneberg campus.

– We’re developing a technique to measure the force the horse’s uses in the jump-off and landing, which is big weight scales that we dig down underneath the ground, in front of and after the fence. We want to evaluate how the horses are jumping, in order to optimize their movement and in that way improve the sport, says Alexandra Kettil who’s project manager and at the same time study her fourth year at industrial economy.

– We’re trying to use this data to help horses and to help this sport to improve more, says Ammar Kreish who is studying his second year at automation and mechatronics. As a child he rode for five years, and chose last fall to be a part of this project since it’s for the horses best interest.

Another one of the student’s in the project, Patrik Jalnäs, is showing us the test sensor they use to simulate a horse’s jump, as the real ones are too big to move around. When his finger covers the light sensor, digital pulses are sent to the computer softwear.

– It’s interesting to get the chance to implement the knowledge you get from studying into this. Hopefully the entire procedure will be automatic during the competition, but we’ll be there in case something would go wrong, says Patrik Jalnäs.

As in previous years, the audience will see the results directly on the screens in the arena. The findings will be used as additional information which will allow Chalmers’ students to continue analysing jump trajectories.

About the project

The Chalmers Fence project is the work of Chalmers students who are using their expertise to develop unique measuring systems focusing on the health and well-being of the horses.
– We’re continuing to gather new information on how horses actually jump, findings that challenge the traditional image of horse jumping, says Magnus Karlsteen, Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology.

Many of the students are pleased to be able to combine a passion for horses with their studies.

– It’s fun to be a part of a project like this, as it’s not very usual to work with students from other programmes and grades at Chalmers. Horses is also one of my biggest interests and it means a lot being able to work with them in my studies, says Alexandra Kettil.
The EuroHorse equestrian fair, taking place at the same time as the Gothenburg Horse Show, will feature jumping obstacles as well as other equestrian research projects.

For more information on Chalmers’ equestrian projects, visit: Equestrian sports at Chalmers


For more information, please contact:

Magnus Karlsteen
Associate Professor in Physics, responsible for Equestrian sports at Chalmers University of Technology
+46-73-079 42 47

Text: Sofia Larsson-Stern
Photo and video: Johan Bodell

Published: Thu 22 Feb 2018.