Jumping the Big Jumps: Riders’ Eyes Are the Key to Success

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Minuscule eye movements can make all the difference.

Researchers at Nottingham Trent University in the UK have been studying the eye movements of top show jumpers to determine how their focus can affect the horse and rider’s performance.

Riders who jump regularly talk about having “an eye for a distance,” a skill that allows the rider to help the horse get to the optimum take-off point before a jump.

But theories vary as to where the rider should be looking: at the jump? Just above the jump? (Everyone agrees they should not be looking down.)

Now new research is helping to solve that controversy, as described in the video below:​

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