What is elevation?

Updated 9 months ago by Jennifer Arnoux

The elevation shows the vertical movement (in cm) of the horse’s body for each stride. Elevation corresponds with the upward sense of movement that you feel in the saddle. Dressage riders are looking for a high value, whereas endurance riders are looking for a low value.

Therefore, it’s a really interesting indicator to look at, but its interpretation depends on your objectives and especially your discipline. For example, dressage riders are going to try to increase the elevation (“The horse passes from a forward movement to a forward and upward movement.” Progression scale – FFE), whereas endurance riders are going to try to lower it so that the horse gains in amplitude and does waste its energy doing an upward movement.

To give you a general idea, elevation can have the following values:

  • Walk: 1 - 5 cm 
  • Trot: 7 - 16 cm 
  • Canter: 15 - 30 cm

Similar to the cadence, you can have higher or lower values than shown in the example. There is no such thing as good or bad elevation. It depends on your horse, your discipline, and your objectives.

The elevation can practically double in a dressage horse’s first years of work!

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