Following the release of Luciana Diniz’s Masterclass “My way: the Butterfly Method” in partnership with Equisense, we offer you here a small overview of this method developed by the Portuguese rider who signed a very nice 10th place at the Tokyo Olympics.
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Explanation of the Butterfly Method
The Butterfly method was developed by Luciana Diniz to combine technical work on the fences, concentration and complicity with her horse.
It consists of a “base” device of 5 obstacles (the Butterfly), which can be jumped in 60 different ways. It has several variants: the Dynamic Butterfly, and the Dynamic Butterfly with combinations.
Let’s take a closer look
The Butterfly is the basic exercise of the eponymous method. It is a device of 5 obstacles: one obstacle for the body, and 4 obstacles for the wings.
The principle is simple: link the 5 obstacles by jumping them once each, making a kind of figure eight.
There are 60 different ways to jump the Butterfly!
This exercise has many virtues. It allows to work the horse in the forward movement, on a flexible and easy to jump track.
For the rider, it is an excellent exercise of concentration and mental visualization because it requires to be perfectly anticipated. Indeed, before starting the course, it is necessary to know :
- what route you want to take
- how you want to ride it
- what rhythm you want to have (calm or more sustained rhythm)
- on which aspects you want to concentrate
Then, the rider must take the time to mentally visualize the course before starting.
Finally, it is a very pleasant exercise, which can and must be ridden with a smile and with passion! This is an element that is dear to the Olympic rider, for whom being at one with her horse and taking pleasure in the work are fundamental elements for success.
📚 On the same topic : The Rider’s mental preparation
The Dynamic Butterfly
The Dynamic Butterfly is a variant of the Butterfly, with a slightly higher level. It consists of adding 3 obstacles with different stride lines to be respected. These 3 new obstacles can be taken in a straight line from the body and the wings, but also in a curved line.
This variant allows you to work on the control of the amplitude on the stride lines.
It is indeed a question of foreseeing well the stride lines which one will make in advance, according to the height and the rhythm which one wishes to have.
Luciana Diniz advises in particular to add an extra stride on the first passages when the fences are still low, with the idea to assemble this course in a calm and relaxed way.
📚 Read as well: Which distance should I put between ground poles or fences?
The Dynamic Butterfly with combination
The last variation of this Butterfly method is the Dynamic Butterfly with combination. It is simply a matter of adding combinations (1 or 2 strides) on the 3 additional obstacles of the Dynamic Butterfly.
It is the most complete course, because it includes all the difficulties that can be encountered in a course in competition: isolated obstacles, more or less tight curves, straight lines and curved lines, stride lines, combinations…
Also, the work on the different distances in this exercise will help you enormously in competition because you will know perfectly the amplitude and the cadence necessary to cross the various difficulties which you can meet on the turns.
The possibilities of courses are endless, you can keep jumping until everything is perfect!
As with the Butterfly, anticipation, planning, visualization and connection with your horse are key to the success of this exercise!
How to use the Equisense Motion Sport sensor in the Butterfly method
The Equisense Motion Sport sensor will be of great help in the realization of the exercises of the Butterfly method. Indeed, it measures different key parameters, such as:
- Cadence at canter
- Regularity of the cadence
- Number of strides between jumps
- Quality of the approaches
- Heart rate per gait
- Symmetry at trot
In this way, with your Equisense Motion Sport, you can check that the stride lines, which you had perfectly planned in your Dynamic Butterfly sequences, have been carried out correctly.
You will be able to analyze the variations in cadence at canter to ensure that the rhythm was the right one and that you were able to maintain it throughout your jumping course.
The arrows indicating the quality of the approach will allow you to ensure that you have approached your obstacles with a stable or slightly increasing rhythm. If you have “shriveled”, these will be displayed in yellow!
Finally, you can make sure your horse is doing well by measuring heart rate at all three gaits and symmetry at trot!
Discover more in Luciana Diniz’ Masterclass!
In the Masterclass realized in partnership with Equisense, Luciana Diniz explains you in detail how to realize these different courses. But she also goes much further, explaining how to :
- doing a good warm-up on horseback
- working on the horse’s balance when jumping, especially through extensive work on the flat
- finding and working on your own balance, and what exercises to do to achieve it
- becoming one with your horse, including through footwork and work in freedom to build trust between the two of you
Luciana addresses these issues with the help of three experts: her blacksmith, an integral part of the team, Anna Kerckhoff, a specialist in Horsemanship, and Joao Torrao, Olympic dressage rider.
The “8-aspects” videos go into even more detail about the collaboration with these experts, showing the difficulties encountered by Luciana Diniz and her horses, and how to solve them.
One thing is sure, after seeing this Masterclass, you will swear by the Butterfly!
See you soon for a next article,
Co-founder of Equisense and R&D manager