The Simple Metrics How-To

Wednesday 25th March 2020
Author: Maria Muñiz

Simple Metrics How-To Banner

Behind the scenes at EquiRatings, as we've provided complex analyses for eventing's head honchos and top teams, we’ve also been working really hard and thoughtfully to serve you – the non-professional rider, the backbone of the sport.

Without you, we wouldn’t be here and the sport wouldn’t stand. That is why our data scientists conceptualised, developed, tested and validated the Simple Metrics. These five base metrics represent over a year of diligent analysis, statistical scrutiny, and long discussions between the eventing experts and brains of our operation. We wanted to make sure the metrics were applicable and doable, but also smart and accurate. There’s no sense wasting the time of day-in-day-out, hard-working, life-juggling athletes with metrics that don’t honestly and objectively capture their progress.

We encourage you to apply these metrics to your personal eventing journey and use them to focus and encourage you. Calculate your metrics now. After all, you must first know where you currently are in order to map the route to your destination. Set benchmarks based on each metric and apply the marginal gains approach that professional athletes (across all sports) use.

Goal setting and being deliberate and thoughtful about your passion is empowering. Give yourself permission to stop and think about your riding, to plan, and to set achievable micro-goals (marginal gains). This sets up small wins that fuel big progress and lead to great satisfaction.

Imagine how your Simple Metrics snapshot will look in time, as you continue to train and gain experience. Know that using the metrics can help you wisely direct your limited time, energy, and money. Most of all, be encouraged by the fact that you are taking ownership of your journey and have the tools to confidently manage your progress.

Below, we walk through each of the metrics with a detailed how-to and an example for each. Keep in mind that each of these metrics can be used to evaluate yourself or they can be used to analyse a horse (or the two of you as a pair, of course). These are the five base metrics which provide a strong foundation for measuring and tracking. There’s no need to make it more complicated, unless you want to…

If you do want to go a step further, and feel ready to do so, we also have partner metrics for the XCJ10, the TSR, and the SJ6. We call these the context metrics because they capture real-world factors that impact performance, like differences in course difficulty. We've written more on the context metrics here and we'll be bringing you the detailed how-to steps for those numbers as well.  But for now, keep it powerfully simple and take it step-by-step through each of these five Simple Metrics!

Simple Metrics DR-2

Measure dressage

Use: The 6RA

Why?:  Once you have a summary score which reflects how you've been trending, you have a single, realistic number to improve on.

What is it?:  The Six Run Average.  The average of your six most recent dressage scores (at any level).

How to calculate it:

6RA Calculation-1

  • 6 previous scores is ideal, but you can use as few as 3.
  • Skip any test which resulted in retirement or elimination.


6RA Ex 2-2-1-1

Simple Metric XCJ10-1

Measure cross country jumping

Use: The XCJ10

Why?:  To quantify your cross country reliability, inform your season plan, and track your strength in the phase.

What is it?:  Your cross country jumping (XCJ) clear rate

How to calculate it:

XCJ10 Calculation

  • A clear round is any round you finished with 0 jumping penalties.  Do not count time penalties.
  • If you started the XC phase but didn't finish the course, that counts as an unclear round.
  • 10 previous runs is best, but you can use as few as 3.


XCJ & TSR Example

Simple Metrics TSR-1

Measure cross country time

Use: The TSR

Why?:  Gain clarity on how you're consistently performing against the clock and track improvements in speed and efficiency.

What is it?:  The True Speed Rating.  The average of your 6 lowest time penalty values from your last 10 cross country runs (because we know you don't push for time on every run).

How to calculate it:

TSR Calc-1-2

  • The TSR is in units of time penalties.  The lower the better.
  • XC retirements and eliminations do not count as one of the 10 most-recent completions, but rounds with jumping faults do. 
  • 6 of 10 is optimal, but as few as 3 results will work.  If you have fewer than 6 XC completions, average the time penalties from them all.

XCJ & TSR Example-1

Simple Metrics SJ-1Measure show jumping

Use: The SJ6

Why?:  Measure your show jumping strength and track this metric over time to continually monitor training strategy.

What is it?:  The average number of show jumping penalties from your last 6 rounds.

How to calculate it:

SJ6 Calculation

  • Time penalties are not counted in the calculation.
  • Only completed SJ rounds are included.  SJ retirements or eliminations are not included as one of your 6 most-recent rounds.
  • 6 previous rounds is ideal but as few as 3 will work.


SJ6 ex 2-1

Simple Metrics OBP6-1

Measure overall performance

Use: The OBP6

Why?:  Quantify how well you're putting all 3 phases together.  Clearly and objectively track your overall form, relative to your peers.

What is it?:  The Opponents Beaten Percentage.  The percentage of competitors you've beaten out of all your recent opponents.

How to calculate it:

OBP6 calc

  • Only include events where you started XC.
  • If you started XC but didn't finish the course or the competition, that competition still counts but the number of opponents you beat was 0.
  • Anyone who started the dressage phase with you counts in your total number of opponents faced.
  • 6 previous competitions is ideal, but you can work with as few as 3.

OBP6 Example-1-1

Work with one metric at a time or paint the whole picture with all five, whatever is doable for you.  Just remember to keep it simple, because simplicity keeps it useful and powerful.  And for more, check out our Simple Metrics articles and site.

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