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The BLACKDOG Equestrian Biomechanics App

The app is all about helping each and every rider to reach peak performance using a combination of instant biomechanics and tailored coaching.

In this blog, I'll give you a super-brief overview of the whole app. There are two parts to the app: Biomechanics and Training. Let's start with biomechanics.


Biomechanics for Horse and Rider

The clue is in the name that the app's main focus is biomechanics! It can asses either horse or rider biomechanics, but currently not both at the same time (though that's not to say that you couldn't run the same video through the analysis once for the rider and once for the horse).

The rider biomechanics system is the most advanced system of its kind. The latest app update now gives users the option of tracking a rider's position live, in real-time. All they need to do is click through to the Live Assessment page and point their phone at the rider. The app does the rest. The assessment can be recorded and the app will instantly produce a report that highlights the key aspects of the rider's position. It uses a colour-coded system, where green shows that that particular part of the rider's position is good, amber is ok and red means that they need some improvement.

The obvious question is: what makes a "good" or "bad" position? Aaaaaand the answer is.... how long have you got! This is a topic I'll be returning to time and time again in this blog, in the videos on our YouTube channel and on our social media. Plus there's loads of info inside of the app. If you want to find out more now, check out this video.

If any parts of the position are flagged as amber or red, the app will automatically include a run-down of what the issues are and will show the rider suggestions for exercises that might help them to improve. I'll say a bit more about the rider training in the next section.

The horse biomechanics doesn't yet have a live option. Instead, you have to video the horse and rider from the side using your phone first, and then process the video through the app. The full guide on how to get the best video for the horse biomechanics can be found here, plus there's lots of guidance within the app.

Once uploaded via the app, the video will take a few minutes to process. As for the rider, a video and a report will be available as soon as the processing is complete. However, unlike the rider biomechanics, there's no real "good" or "bad" (except for the head carriage). A horse's biomechanics will depend on lots of different factors, like his breed, height and confirmation plus a whole load more. This is actually a big part of our current research and we're super excited to share it with you on our YouTube channel and on our social media. If you want to find out more now, check out this video.


Training for Horse and Rider

The app has a large library of training exercises for both horse and rider.

The horse-focused training comes in the form of schooling exercises. Remember those big books of schooling exercises? Well, this is similar, except it can fit in your pocket ready for whenever you need it. You may have some of the exercises from the app that we've featured on our social media. We've got some exciting plans in this area, so stay tuned!

As we previously mentioned, the app automatically suggests exercises and stretches for the rider based on their biomechanics assessment. We can't guarantee that these will necessarily "fix" the issue, but even if they don't, they're bound to help with your overall riding fitness and performance. No-one's riding was ever harmed by their having a stronger core!

The recent update also included a new feature, Position Specific Exercises. On this page, you can see a whole bunch of info about rider position, including lists of exercises and stretches that will help with that specific part of your position. It's a great overview of rider position and a good place to go to get started on your journey to being a stronger, more effective rider.

And that's a really, really brief over view of the app along with a bit of an intro into some of our future content.

If you have any questions, we'd love to hear from you



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