ArticlePDF Available

Energy expenditure of horse riding

Authors:
  • Centre Hospitalier de Perpignan, France

Abstract and Figures

Oxygen consumption (VO2), ventilation (VE) and heart rate (HR) were studied in five recreational riders with a portable oxygen analyser (K2 Cosmed, Rome) telemetric system, during two different experimental riding sessions. The first one was a dressage session in which the rider successively rode four different horses at a walk, trot and canter. The second one was a jumping training session. Each rider rode two horses, one known and one unknown. The physiological parameters were measured during warm up at a canter in suspension and when jumping an isolated obstacle at a trot and canter. This session was concluded by a jumping course with 12 obstacles. The data show a progressive increase in VO2 during the dressage session from a mean value of 0.70 (0.18) l x min(-1) [mean (SD)] at a walk, to 1.47 (0.28) l x min(-1) at a trot, and 1.9 (0.3) l x min(-1) at a canter. During the jumping session, rider VO2 was 2 (0.33) l x min(-1) with a mean HR of 155 beats x min(-1) during canter in suspension, obstacle trot and obstacle canter. The jumping course significantly enhanced VO2 and HR up to mean values of 2.40 (0.35) l x min(-1) and 176 beats x min(-1), respectively. The comparison among horses and riders during the dressage session shows differences in energy expenditure according to the horse for the same rider and between riders. During the jumping session, there was no statistical difference between riders riding known and unknown horses. In conclusion these data confirm that riding induces a significant increase in energy expenditure. During jumping, a mean value of 75% VO2max was reached. Therefore, a good aerobic capacity seems to be a factor determining riding performance in competitions. Regular riding practice and additional physical training are recommended to enhance the physical fitness of competitive riders.
Content may be subject to copyright.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Marie-FrancË oise Devienne á Charles-Yannick Guezennec
Energy expenditure of horse riding
Accepted: 3 March 2000
Abstract Oxygen consumption (VO
2
), ventilation (V
E
)
and heart rate (HR) were studied in ®ve recreational
riders with a portable oxygen analyser (K2 Cosmed,
Rome) telemetric system, during two dierent experi-
mental riding sessions. The ®rst one was a dressage
session in which the rider successively rode four dierent
horses at a walk, trot and canter. The second one was a
jumping training session. Each rider rode two horses,
one known and one unknown. The physiological pa-
rameters were measured during warm up at a canter in
suspension and when jumping an isolated obstacle at a
trot and canter. This session was concluded by a jump-
ing course with 12 obstacles. The data show a progres-
sive increase in VO
2
during the dressage session from
a mean value of 0.70 (0.18) l á min
)1
[mean (SD)] at a
walk, to 1.47 (0.28) l á min
)1
at a trot, and 1.9 (0.3) l á
min
)1
at a canter. During the jumping session, rider VO
2
was 2 (0.33) l á min
)1
with a mean HR of 155 beats á
min
)1
during canter in suspension, obstacle trot and
obstacle canter. The jumping course signi®cantly
enhanced VO
2
and HR up to mean values of 2.40
(0.35) l á min
)1
and 176 beats á min
)1
, respectively. The
comparison among horses and riders during the dressage
session shows dierences in energy expenditure accord-
ing to the horse for the same rider and between riders.
During the jumping session, there was no statistical
dierence between riders riding known and unknown
horses. In conclusion these data con®rm that riding
induces a signi®cant increase in energy expenditure.
During jumping, a mean value of 75% VO
2max
was
reached. Therefore, a good aerobic capacity seems to be
a factor determining riding performance in competi-
tions. Regular riding practice and additional physical
training are recommended to enhance the physical
®tness of competitive riders.
Key words Heart rate á Jumping á Oxygen uptake á
Riding
Introduction
Several studies have addressed the physiological de-
mands of riding (Westerling 1983; Trowbridge et al.
1995; Bojer et al. 1998). In a previous study, Westerling
(1983) demonstrated that oxygen uptake varies accord-
ing to dierent equine gaits, ranging between 40% and
80% of the rider's maximal aerobic power. Indirect
measurements of energy expenditure by heart rate (HR)
monitoring indicate that maximal HR and probably
maximal aerobic power are reached by professional
jockeys during horse racing (Trowbridge et al. 1995).
All these studies were conducted with the same horse,
and the variability in the energy costs of riding induced
by dierent horses remains to be evaluated.
It is well known that all horses are dierent and have
individual technical characteristics. Some of them are
lethargic, and must be always pushed; others are lively
and must be restrained. Consequently, each rider must
adjust their technique to the particular horse they are
riding. The main aim of our study was to investigate how
the energetic costs of riding vary according to the horse.
Methods
Subjects
A total of ®ve experienced riders were studied (three women and
two men). Subjects rode, on average, 7 h per week. They were
similarly experienced and participated in jumping competitions
at the regional level. None of them trained intensely, and their
occupational activities were not physically demanding.
Eur J Appl Physiol (2000) 82: 499±503 Ó Springer-Verlag 2000
M.-F. Devienne (&)
Universite
Â
Paris XII-STAPS-61,
Av. du Ge
Â
ne
Â
ral de Gaulle, 94010 Cre
Â
teil, France
e-mail: Mfdevienne@aol.com
C.-Y. Guezennec
Institut de Me
Â
decine Ae
Â
rospatiale du Service de Sante
Â
des Arme
Â
es,
BP 73-91223 Bre
Â
tigny sur Orge, France
Experimental design
The study consisted of three parts:
A. Bicycle ergometer test: determination of maximal oxygen up-
take. The bicycle ergometer test was performed using an elec-
trically braked ergometer (Orion, France). The power was
incremented by 25 W every 2 min until exhaustion. Exercise at
the maximal load was interrupted when the subjects had reached
subjective exhaustion, which occurred at a HR equal to or
higher than the predicted maximal values. Oxygen uptake
(VO
2
), ventilation (V
E
) and HR were measured with a portable
telemetric system (Cosmed K2, Rome). The exhaled gas was
collected in a mask composed of a turbine (for V
E
measurement)
and a sample gas collection system (by pump for O
2
determi-
nation). This system has been validated by Bigard and Gue-
zennec (1995).
B. Measurement of VO
2
, HR and pulmonary ventilation during
riding at a walk, trot and canter. VO
2
, V
E
and HR were mea-
sured with the portable telemetric oxygen analyser (K2-Cosmed)
during riding at a walk, trot and canter. The gas parameters
were collected and calculated as mean values for each 30 s. Each
subject rode four dierent horses. On each horse, subjects per-
formed 4 min of walking followed by 4 min of trotting and
®nally 4 min of cantering. Recordings lasted, therefore, 12 min
for each horse. VO
2
, V
E
and HR data were calculated as the
average of each gait (lasting 4 min).
During this session, riders rode four horses with dierent
dispositions: horses one and three needed pushing while horse
three was the most lethargic. Horse two was an easy one and
horse four was a nervous animal that had to be restrained.
C. Measurement of VO
2
, HR and pulmonary ventilation during
jumping. The same parameters as above were recorded during
jumping sessions performed several days after the dressage
session. The jumping session comprised 4 min of cantering in
suspension, 3 min of rest at a walk, followed by the jumping
of ®ve small obstacles at a trot with a mean duration of 5 min
and 3 min of rest at a walk. Then, the riding programme
continued with the jumping of ®ve obstacles at a canter for
5 min followed by 3 min of rest at a walk. Finally, the
subjects jumped 12 obstacles (height between 1 m and 1.10 m),
and the time for this jumping course ranged from 1 min to
1min30s.
The ®ve subjects rode one horse with which they were familiar and
another one which they had never ridden.
Statistical analysis
All the values are expressed as means (SD). The statistical evalu-
ation was carried out by applying two-way repeated-measures
ANOVA. Post hoc dierences were tested by Student's t-test.
Statistical signi®cance was set at an alpha level of 0.05.
Results
The individual values for VO
2
, V
E
and HR obtained
during the ergometer test are presented in Table 1. The
mean VO
2
(l á min
)1
), V
E
(l á min
)1
) and HR (beats á
min
)1
) measured in the two riding sessions cumulated
for the overall time spent in each gait for the horse/rider
couple are given in Table 2: a progressive signi®cant
increase in VO
2
, HR and V
E
is observed from walk to
canter in suspension (P<0.05). The parameters mea-
sured during canter in suspension, obstacle trot and
obstacle canter were not statistically dierent, but
jumping signi®cantly increased VO
2
, V
E
and HR com-
pared to all other situations (P<0.01).
Figure 1 presents the VO
2
curves obtained from each
30-s collection period for each gait and jumping course.
Whereas a steady state is attained during walking, after
1 min of trotting and when cantering, VO
2
rapidly in-
creased during jumping without reaching steady state.
The energy expenditure achieved at the end of the
jumping course reached 75% of the V O
2max
measured
on ergocycle for 92% of maximal HR.
Comparison of the data observed for each horse
during the dressage riding session (Table 3) indicates
that VO
2
, V
E
and HR dier signi®cantly according to
Table 1 Maximal oxygen
uptake (VO
2max
,lá min
)1
),
maximal heart rate (HR,
beats á min
)1
), and maximal
pulmonary ventilation (V
E
,
l á min
)1
) at maximal exercise
during the ergocycle test
Rider VO
2max
(l á min
)1
)
HR
(beats á min
)1
)
V
E
(l á min
)1
)
Age (years),
sex
Height
(m)
Mass
(kg)
1 3.57 156 84 35, M 1.81 77
2 4.15 195 114 19, M 1.73 54
3 2.23 197 90 29, F 1.78 58
4 2.51 189 83 23, F 1.61 48
5 3.58 201 90 24, F 1.65 54
Mean 3.20 187 92 26 1.716 58.2
SD 0.75 7 10 6.16 0.08 11.1
Table 2 Mean VO
2
, V
E
and
HR data during the dressage
and the jumping sessions. The
data are presented as means
values cumulated over 4 min
for the dressage session and
canter in suspension, 5 min for
the obstacle trot and canter,
and 1 min for jumping
VO
2
(l á min
)1
) HR (beats á min
)1
) V
E
(l á min
)1
)
Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD
Walk 0.70 0.18 106 15 19.39 3.57
Trot 1.47 0.28 131 20 29.57 4.60
Canter 1.90 0.30 144 18 40.5 6.75
Canter in suspension 2.17 0.33 155 22 47.75 8.95
Obstacle trot 2.02 0.27 156 24 43.24 5.21
Obstacle canter 2.02 0.30 159 26 43.38 8.15
Jumping course 2.25 0.35 176 24 59.11 8.30
500
the horse being ridden [respectively F(3,12) 5.122,
F(3,12) 6.882, F(3,12) 4.459, P<0.05]. The com-
parison between means indicates a lower energy expen-
diture when the riders were cantering on horses two and
four. Table 4 shows that there were signi®cant dier-
ences between riders in the energy expenditure calcu-
lated while riding the four horses in the dressage session.
Table 5 shows that riding an unknown horse results
in a tendency to enhance energy expenditure but only
the dierence induced by cantering is suspension reaches
statistical signi®cance (P<0.05).
Discussion
The results of the energetic cost measurements agree
with those of Westerling (1983). Energy expenditure
during horseback riding ranged from 0.5 l á min
)1
at a
walk to 2 l á min
)1
during jumping.
The main result of this study is to highlight the
variability in rider energy expenditure according to the
horse being ridden. There was an important variability
in rider energy expenditure between horses during the
dressage and jumping sessions. Moreover, the results
varied greatly among subjects, especially in jumping. In
dressage sessions, the horse's nature was found to be a
source of variability. Indeed, our results con®rm that the
horse that had to be pushed the most was the one that
required the highest metabolic cost by the rider. The
observed dierences in VO
2
according to rider and horse
raise questions about the relationship between the en-
ergy expenditure of the rider and the horse. It has been
shown recently that part of the horse's energy expendi-
ture is internal work required to maintain the center of
mass and speed (Minetti et al. 1999). Therefore, the
movement of the rider on the horse's back could increase
the horse's internal work through its action on gait
biomechanical parameters. The horse-dependent dier-
ences in energy expenditure observed among riders may
be related to dierences in the riders' movements. It is
not clear the extent to which riders' movements can
Fig. 1 Oxygen consumption averaged over each 30-s period during
the 4-min walk (W), trot (T) and canter (C). During jumping (J ),
the ®rst point was obtained before the start; only two values
were collected after the start
Table 3 VO
2
, V
E
and HR during the dressage session with four dierent horses. The data presented are means values cumulated over 4 min for each gait
Horse Walk Trot Canter
VO
2
HR V
E
VO
2
HR V
E
VO
2
HR V
E
Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD
1 0.64 0.27 107 18 17.5 4.62 1.37 0.36 135 21 31.95 4.64 1.86 0.33 154 25 47.49 8.18
2 0.64 0.13 107 18 15.6 2.91 1.35 0.29 131 18 28.28 4.6 1.62 0.32 139 18 35.72 5.31
3 0.79 0.17 107 14 16.6 3.15 1.64 0.3 133 17 30.32 5.69 2.16 0.29 146 15 42.18 6.75
4 0.75 0.16 102 10 15.9 3.66 1.55 0.18 126 15 27.73 3.64 1.97 0.27 137 15 36.60 6.76
501
in¯uence the amount of mechanical work the horses
need to do. It may be that dierent gaits require more
energy expenditure by the rider because they need to
work harder to maintain their center of mass. Further
studies are needed to understand the reciprocal in¯u-
ences that riders and horses have on energy expenditure.
The data obtained here indicate the mean energy
expenditure induced by dierent riding activities. The
maximal aerobic power was measured, and we assume
that the riders' mean energy expenditure when riding
was between 25 and 70% of V O
2max
. The question is
how much does the physical training achieved when
riding enhance the rider's aerobic capacity. It has been
shown that continuous physical exercise at 60±70%
VO
2
max for several 30-min sessions per week enhances
aerobic capacity (Pollock 1973). The riders canter for
only a small part of a normal training session, the main
training part consisting of walking and trotting. Con-
sequently, riders should physically train for several
hours per week in addition to their riding activities if
they are to enhance their aerobic capacity. This is con-
®rmed by the fact that professional riders, who spend
several hours riding each day, have better aerobic ®tness
and strength in several muscle groups compared to
recreational riders (Bojer et al. 1998). Assuming a cost
of 20.22 kJ (4.83 kcal) per litre of oxygen consumption,
it is possible to calculate the energy expended during a
dressage training session. During a normal training
session of 1 h the rider spends 10 min at walk, 20 min at
canter, and 30 min at trot. So, the mean oxygen con-
sumption values measured in this study yield an overall
oxygen consumption of 77 l, representing an energy
expenditure of 1553 kJ (371 kcal). Jumping could
greatly enhance this value, for example 20 min of
jumping training, as a normal training duration, could
induce a caloric wasting above 837 kJ (200 kcal).
However, jumping training is not performed more than
twice a week. The metabolic cost of riding could be
compared to that of training in other physical activities.
It has been calculated that 1 h of running at 60%
VO
2max
for an adult male of 70 kg results in a mean
energy expenditure ranging between 2500 and 3000 kJ
(600 and 700 kcal). Nevertheless, riding is a metabolic
cost that could help to maintain as good a physical
constitution as achieved by aerobics or gymnastics.
Table 4 VO
2
and %VO
2
in the dressage session according to the
rider
Rider Walk Trot Canter
VO
2
%VO
2
VO
2
%VO
2
VO
2
%VO
2
1 1.00 28.22 1.85 51.8 2.115 59.1
2 0.56 13.49 1.4 33.73 2.01 48.43
3 0.72 32.51 1.55 69.5 1.86 83.4
4 0.6 23.9 1.165 46.41 1.61 64.14
5 0.64 17.87 1.425 39.8 1.925 53.77
Mean 0.70 23% 1.48 48% 1.9 62%
SD 0.17 7.66 0.25 13.69 0.19 13.44
Table 5 Mean VO
2
, HR, and V
E
calculated from the overall values obtained during the jumping session with the known and the unknown horse
Canter in suspension Obstacle trot Obstacle canter Jumping course
VO
2
HR V
E
VO
2
HR V
E
VO
2
HR V
E
VO
2
HR V
E
Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD
Known horse 2.05 0.37 154 24 44 9.01 2.00 0.30 155 24 42.74 6.01 2.10 0.31 159 26 44.5 9.95 2.15 0.34 175 22 57.24 8.09
Unknown horse 2.35 0.29 156 20 51.5 8.95 2.05 0.25 158 25 43.73 4.42 1.95 0.30 159 27 42.3 6.39 2.30 0.37 177 27 60.98 8.52
502
Regular riding practice is thus recommended to improve
the energy balance and reduce body fat.
In some subjects, jumping induces 100% VO
2max
and maximal HR. So, VO
2max
is probably a factor
that limits performance. On the other hand, during
jumping 94% of the mean maximal HR is obtained at
only 75% VO
2max
. This discrepancy between HR and
VO
2
could be because steady-state oxygen consump-
tion is not achieved during jumping, and ventilation
and metabolism change rapidly according to the dif-
ferent jumping phase. So, the method used here could
underestimate peak oxygen consumption. Therefore,
even though oxygen consumption remained sub-max-
imal during jumping, un®t subjects could have their
hearts stimulated to dangerous levels. This point
highlights the necessity of regular medical examina-
tions before participation in riding competitions and
supports the movement that competitive riders should
maintain a general physical ®tness training pro-
gramme.
In conclusion, this study emphasizes the variability in
rider energy expenditure according to the horse and the
rider. The mean VO
2
achieved during the training ses-
sions always remained under 75% VO
2max
. This level of
energy expenditure is capable of developing high aerobic
capacities, but, during jumping, any subject could reach,
for a short duration, their VO
2max
. The performance of
competitive riders is in¯uenced by their aerobic capacity;
therefore, it is in their interests to do additional aerobic
®tness training.
References
Bigard AX, Guezennec CY (1995) Evaluation of the cosmed K2
telemetry system during exercise at moderate altitude. Med Sci
Sports Exerc 27: 1333±1338
Bojer M, Lo
È
tzerich H, Trunz E (1998) A ®tness-check for riders
in consideration of a functional anatomy analysis of riding
[Abstract]. J Sports Med 19: 56
Minetti AE, Ardigo
Á
LP, Reinach E, Saibene F (1999) The rela-
tionship between mechanical work and energy expenditure of
locomotion in horses. J Exp Biol 202: 2329±2338
Pollock ML (1973) The quanti®cation of endurance training pro-
grams. In: Willmore JH (ed) Exercise and sport sciences
reviews. Academic Press, New York, pp 155±188
Trowbridge EA, Cotterill JV, Crofts CE (1995) The physical de-
mands of riding in national hunt races. Eur J Appl Physiol 70:
66±69
Westerling D (1983) A study of physical demands in riding. Eur J
Appl Physiol 50: 373±382
503
... Assessment of surface electromyography (EMG) activity from select muscle groups in the upper body of English riders implies the need for muscular endurance due to long periods spent with muscles in tonic contraction to maintain posture (Douglas et al., 2012;Terada et al., 2004). As a horse progresses through the gaits (walk, trot, canter), the riders HR and oxygen consumption increases (Devienne and Guezennec, 2000;Kiely et al., 2019), due to higher levels of tonic muscular contraction particularly of the trunk (Douglas et al., 2012). This controlled trunk muscle contraction would be particularly important in jockeys who train and compete at the faster gaits (canter, gallop). ...
... Unlike most equestrian sports, a jockey and horse do not necessarily train together, with a jockey able to obtain a ride on a horse they may have never ridden before. In both English riders and jockeys, oxygen consumption and HR has been shown to vary according to the nature of the horse being ridden (Devienne and Guezennec, 2000;Kiely et al., 2019;Roberts et al., 2010). Specifically, a lethargic horse may require additional pushing and a nervous horse may require extra restraint on the part of the jockey. ...
... Specifically, a lethargic horse may require additional pushing and a nervous horse may require extra restraint on the part of the jockey. In addition, riding an unknown horse at canter has been shown to increase the energy expenditure of the rider (Devienne and Guezennec, 2000). This further increases the need for a strong basal fitness level for a jockey to prepare for the added pressure of riding an unfamiliar horse. ...
Article
This narrative review collates data from different equestrian disciplines, both amateur and professional, to describe the physiological demands, muscle activity and synchronicity of movement involved in jockeys riding in a race and to identify limitations within our current knowledge. A literature search was conducted in Web of Science, Google Scholar, PubMed and Scopus using search terms related to jockeys, equestrian riders and their physiological demands, muscle use, movement dynamics and experience. Abstracts, theses and non-peer reviewed articles were excluded from the analysis. Jockeys work at close to their physiological capacity during a race. The quasi-isometric maintenance of the jockey position requires muscular strength and endurance, specifically from the legs and the core, both to maintain their position and adapt to the movement of the horse. Synchronous movement between horse and rider requires a coordinated activation pattern of the rider’s core muscles, resulting in less work done by the horse to carry the rider, possibly leading to a competitive advantage in race riding. Reports of chronic fatigue in jockeys demonstrate poor quantification of workload and recovery. The lack of quantitative workload metrics for jockeys’ limits calculation of a threshold required to reach race riding competency and development of sport-specific training programmes. Until the sport-specific demands of race riding are quantified, the development of evidence-based sport specific and potentially performance enhancing jockey strength and conditioning programmes cannot be realised.
... A jockey is required to balance and control the horse during the race, and horse temperament has been suggested as a contributor to the jockey's workload [1,12,27]. However, in the present study, jockeys reported similar variations in horse contact during trials and races, indicating that when operating at maximal or near maximal capacity (both jockey and horse), horse temperament was not a significant factor in jockey workload. ...
Article
Full-text available
Physiological parameters and muscle activity of jockeys may affect their fall and injury risk, performance, and career longevity, as well as the performance and welfare of the horses they ride. Therefore, this study aimed to quantify the physiological demands, body displacement, and electromyographic (EMG) activity of twelve jockeys riding 52 trials and 16 professional races. The jockeys were instrumented with heart rate (HR) monitors, accelerometers, and integrated EMG clothing (recording eight muscle groups: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal, erector spinae/lower back, abdominal external obliques, abdominal, trapezial and pectoral) which recorded continuously whilst riding. During race day, jockeys rode an average of 5 ± 4 trials and 4 ± 2 races over 2–2.5 h. The trials represented lower intensity cardiovascular demand (~81% HRmax) and Training Impulse (TRIMP) scores (4.4 ± 1.8) than races at maximal intensity effort (~94% HRmax, 7.2 ± 1.8 TRIMP, p < 0.05). Jockey head displacement was similar in trials (5.4 ± 2.1 cm) and races (5.6 ± 2.2 cm, p > 0.05), with more vertical (6.7 ± 2.7 cm) and less medio/lateral (2.3 ± 0.7 cm) and fore/aft (3.7 ± 1.6 cm) displacement for jockeys riding in trials than races (5.5 ± 2.3, 2.8 ± 1.0, 5.6 ± 2.5 cm, p < 0.05). Jockeys in races adopted a lower crouched posture, with their centre of mass (COM) shifted anteriorly, using greater hamstring activation and less upper arm muscle activation than in trials. The differences in riding posture and physiological demands on jockeys riding in a race rather than a trial, highlight the requirement for an off-horse race-specific training programme to improve jockey fitness and performance. Greater jockey stability and coordination will have mutual benefits for both horse welfare and performance.
... Concerning horse riding training effects on physical fitness, medium-to-high training loads in various equitation disciplines have been reported for general competitive riders, for college females, for sedentary young female adults, and for healthy children, suggesting that it is possible to achieve health benefits through accumulated horseback riding exercise, particularly if riding is performed at the more intense gaits [6,52,[60][61][62][63][64][65]. Olympic equestrian athletes have been reported to have high values of muscle strength and balance, good physical functions, and good maximal aerobic power [16]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to analyse the fitness level of young horse riders before and after 12 weeks of training restrictions instituted due to the COVID-19 emergency. Anthropometrical measure assessment and an eight-items fitness test battery were administered to 61 puberal and adolescent female amateur horse riders. Subjects were evaluated within 3 weeks before (pre-tests) the period of training restrictions and on the first day of normal training after it (post-tests). Post-test results showed significant increases in body weight (Z: −1.732; p value: 0.001; ES: −0.157) and BMI (F: 9.918; p value: 0.003; ES: 0.146), whilst the performance in hand grip and abdominal strength, hip mobility, and 10 × 5 m Shuttle and Cooper 12 min tests’ outcomes significantly decreased (F: 29.779; p value: 0.001 F: 29.779; p value: 0.001 F: 29.779; p value: 0.001 F: 29.779; p value: 0.001 F: 29.779; p value: 0.001, respectively). Correlation analysis revealed that riders’ experience was significantly correlated with hand grip (p < 0.01), leg strength (p < 0.01), hip mobility (p < 0.05), and 5 × 10 m Shuttle (p < 0.01) and the Cooper 12 min (p < 0.01) test results. It could be suggested that equestrian activities could produce a higher fitness level in puberal and adolescent riders, whilst home-based, unsupervised, and unattentively planned training during the twelve weeks of training restrictions might be insufficient to maintain it.
... Con relación al motivo por el cual montar a caballo puede resultar beneficioso para los usuarios, diversos autores hacen referencia a los impulsos rítmicos transmitidos por el caballo, a las facilidades que ofrece la comunicación con el animal y al beneficio sobre la salud y el estado de forma en general que puede reportar la equitación como práctica de una actividad físico-deportiva (Devienne & Guezennec, 2000;Stickney, 2010). Otro factor que podría ejercer influencia son las modificaciones hormonales que han sido relacionadas con el contacto placentero con animales, fundamentalmente el descenso en los niveles de cortisol, el aumento de la oxitocina y la regulación de otros neurotransmisores como la dopamina (Lee, Park, & Kim, 2017). ...
Article
The aim of this work is to verify the impact of a adaptive riding program to promote physical activity and sleep in a group of children with rare diseases. A single-case, reversal and intrasubject experimental design has been implemented. The sample was composed of five children with low-frequency or undiagnosed diseases. To measure physical activity and sleep an triaxial accelerometer has been used. Additionally, a sleep disorder scale has been employed in order to assess the usual sleep characteristics. In general terms, we can point out that participating as a user in adaptive riding sessions produces an increase in daily physical activity, which is appreciable compared to the average physical activity of the user. We have not found an extension in sleep duration.
Article
Background : Over 75% of American adults are not meeting aerobic and muscular physical activity recommendations, with the majority being females. Equestrian activities are a potential avenue to increase physical activity, especially in females who account for approximately 90% of sport participants. This study describes perceptions of equestrian activities and establishes the patterns of self-reported equestrian, barn work, and nonequestrian physical activity engagement to understand participation in activities that may sustain physical activity across the lifespan. Methods : American equestrians (n = 2551) completed an anonymous online survey with questions about perceptions and benefits of equestrian activities, demographics, and engagement in equestrian activities, barn work, and nonequestrian activities. Results : There were 2039 completed responses, (95.6% female), with representation from all regions of the United States. Professionals (20.6%), amateurs (39.1%), and recreational (40.3%) comprised participation status. Significantly fewer recreational participants perceived equestrian as physical activity and as a sport than amateurs ( P < .05) and professionals ( P < .05). Engagement in equestrian and barn work physical activity was significantly higher in professionals ( P < .0001), followed by amateurs ( P < .0001), with the lowest in recreational equestrians ( P = .001). Professional and amateur equestrians engaged in significantly more nonequestrian physical activity than recreational participants ( P < .05). Conclusions : Equestrian physical activity engagement is dependent on the status of participation. Equestrian, barn work, and nonequestrian physical activity do meet physical activity aerobic and muscular recommendations and should be encouraged as a physical activity for females across the lifespan.
Article
Full-text available
Introduction - The body of scientific literature on sports and exercise continues to expand. The summer and winter Olympic games will be held over a 7-month period in 2021–2022. Objectives - We took this rare opportunity to quantify and analyse the main bibliometric parameters (i.e., the number of articles and citations) across all Olympic sports to weigh and compare their importance and to assess the structure of the “sport sciences” field. The present review aims to perform a bibliometric analysis of Olympic sports research. Methods - We searched 116 sport/exercise journals on PubMed for the 40 summer and 10 winter Olympic sports. A total of 34,038 articles were filtered for a final selection of 25,003 articles (23,334 articles on summer sports and 1,669 on winter sports) and a total of 599,820 citations. Results and Discussion - Nine sports (football (soccer), cycling, athletics, swimming, distance & marathon running, basketball, baseball, tennis, and rowing) were involved in 69% of the articles and 75% of the citations. Football was the most cited sport, with 19.7% and 26.3% of the total number of articles and citations, respectively. All sports yielded some scientific output, but 11 sports (biathlon, mountain biking, archery, diving, trampoline, skateboarding, skeleton, modern pentathlon, luge, bobsleigh, and curling) accumulated a total of fewer than 50 publications. While ice hockey is the most prominently represented winter sport in the scientific literature, winter sports overall have produced minor scientific output. Further analyses show a large scientific literature on team sports, particularly American professional sports (i.e., baseball, basketball, and ice hockey) and the importance of inclusion in the Olympic programme to increasing scientific interest in “recent” sports (i.e., triathlon and rugby sevens). We also found local/cultural influence on the occurrence of a sport in a particular “sport sciences” journal. Finally, the relative distribution of six main research topics (i.e., physiology, performance, training and testing, injuries and medicine, biomechanics, and psychology) was large across sports and reflected the specific performance factors of each sport.
Article
Despite the fact that horseback riding is a popular sport, there is little information available on horseback riding as a physical activity. The objective of this experiment was to quantify energy expenditure of participants (n=20) during three riding tests: a 45min walk-trot-canter ride (WTC), a reining pattern ride and a cutting simulation ride while wearing a telemetric gas analyzer. Total energy expenditure (tEE), mean and peak metabolic equivalents of task (MET), heart rate (HR), respiratory frequency (RF), relative oxygen consumption (relVO2), and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) were assessed. Mean MET and HR responses were greater (P<0.05) for riders during the long trot portion of the WTC (6.19±0.21 MET, 152.14±4.4bpm) and cutting (4.53±0.21 MET, 146.88±4.4bpm) vs the overall WTC (3.81±0.16MET, 131.5±4.2bpm). When WTC was evaluated by gait, mean MET increased as gait speed increased. As expected, METs were higher (P < 0.05) for riders during long trot (6.19±0.21MET) and canter (5.95±0.21MET) than during the walk (2.01±0.21MET) or trot (3.2±0.21MET). Previous horseback riding studies have not reported METs, but the peaks of all three activities in the present study were similar to METs measured during activities like jogging, playing soccer and rugby. Riders engaged in cutting and reining experienced more intense exercise in short durations, while, as expected on the basis of the duration of the activity, WTC provided a greater overall total energy expenditure. These results suggest that it is possible for health benefits to be achieved through accumulated horseback riding exercise, particularly if riding at the more intense gaits.
Article
When compared to other equestrian sports, Polo players engage in a high number of player-pony interactions. To ensure optimal performance of the player-pony dyad, an understanding of the workloads performed by each pony, and the physiological cost placed upon the rider are required. This investigation examined the relationship and interaction between Polo pony performance (speeds attained, distance covered, movements performed) and corresponding heart rate responses in Polo players, within and between games across a 16-goal Polo tournament. Descriptive statistics revealed Polo is played at an intensity that imposes considerable cardiovascular exertion, with players’ average heart rate (HRavg) and maximum heart rate (HRmax) frequently exceeding 165bpm and 200bpm, respectively, within most games. Data also demonstrated both HRavg and HRmax have small to moderate relationships (p<0.05) with numerous discrete measures of pony external workload, especially, pony accelerations, decelerations, impacts and sprints. These findings highlight the chukka and game specific interactions between pony actions and the players’ cardiovascular responses to these movements. If the cardiovascular conditioning of the player is insufficient to meet the demands of Polo play, the combined performance of the player-pony dyad may be limited.
Article
Endurance is one of the fastest growing equestrian disciplines worldwide. Races are long distance competitions (40-160 km), organised into loops, over variable terrain usually within one day. Horse and rider combinations in endurance races have to complete the course in good condition whilst also aiming to win. Horse welfare is paramount within the sport and horses are required to ‘pass’ a veterinary check prior to racing, after each loop of the course and at the end of the race. Despite the health, fitness and welfare of both athletes within the horse-rider dyad being essential to achieve success, few equivalent measures assessing the wellbeing of the endurance rider are implemented. This review considers evidence from ultra-endurance sports and rider performance in other equestrian disciplines, to consider physiological and psychological strategies the endurance rider could use to enhance their competition performance. Successful endurance riding requires an effective partnership to be established between horse and rider. Within this partnership, adequate rider health and fitness are key to optimal decision-making to manage the horse effectively during training and competition, but just as importantly riders should manage themselves as an athlete. Targeted management for superior rider performance can underpin more effective decision-making promoting ethical equitation practices and optimising competition performance. Therefore, the responsible and competitive endurance rider needs to consider how they prepare themselves adequately for participation in the sport. This should include engaging in appropriate physiological training for fitness and musculoskeletal strength and conditioning. Alongside planning nutritional strategies to support rider performance in training and within the pre-, peri- and post-competition periods to promote superior physical and cognitive performance, and prevent injury. By applying an evidence informed approach to self-management, the endurance athlete will support the horse and rider partnership to achieve to their optimal capacity, whilst maximising both parties physical and psychological wellbeing.
Article
Full-text available
Three-dimensional motion capture and metabolic assessment were performed on four standardbred horses while walking, trotting and galloping on a motorized treadmill at different speeds. The mechanical work was partitioned into the internal work (W(INT)), due to the speed changes of body segments with respect to the body centre of mass, and the external work (W(EXT)), due to the position and speed changes of the body centre of mass with respect to the environment. The estimated total mechanical work (W(TOT)=W(INT)+W(EXT)) increased with speed, while metabolic work (C) remained rather constant. As a consequence, the 'apparent efficiency' (eff(APP)=W(TOT)/C) increased from 10 % (walking) to over 100 % (galloping), setting the highest value to date for terrestrial locomotion. The contribution of elastic structures in the horse's limbs was evaluated by calculating the elastic energy stored and released during a single bounce (W(EL,BOUNCE)), which was approximately 1.23 J kg(-)(1) for trotting and up to 6 J kg(-)(1) for galloping. When taking into account the elastic energy stored by the spine bending and released as W(INT), as suggested in the literature for galloping, W(EL,BOUNCE) was reduced by 0.88 J kg(-)(1). Indirect evidence indicates that force, in addition to mechanical work, is also a determinant of the metabolic energy expenditure in horse locomotion.
Thirteen experienced riders and three elite riders underwent bicycle ergometer tests at submaximal and maximal workloads. Oxygen uptake, pulmonary ventilation and heart rate were also studied during riding at a walk, a trot and a canter. The mean maximal oxygen uptake of the experienced riders in the ergometer test (2.71 . min-1) was superior to the average maximal oxygen uptake of other groups of the same age and sex. The average oxygen uptake of the experienced riders in trot sitting was 1.701 . min-1, trot rising 1.681 . min-1 and in canter 1.801 . min-1. The experienced riders used at least 60% of their maximal aerobic power in trot and canter, which is an exercise intensity that may induce some training effect. Two elite riders consistently had lower oxygen uptakes in riding than the other riders. The heart rate -- oxygen uptake relationships in riding and in the ergometer tests were similar, except during trot sitting when the heart rate tended to be higher, indicating a larger share of static muscle contraction in this gait. Static muscle strength was measured in nine riders and seven non-riders. Six muscle groups were investigated, but no significant difference in muscle strength could be demonstrated between riders and controls.
Heart rate (f c) and post-competition blood lactate concentration ([La+]) were studied in seven male professional National Hunt jockeys over 30 races. Thef c response for individual races followed a similar pattern for all subjects. The mean peakf c recorded during competition was 184 beats·min−1 (range 162–198 beats·min−1) with averagef c during the races ranging from 136 to 188 beats·min−1. During consecutive races the recoveryf c did not return to resting values. The mean [La+] was 7.1 mmol·l−1 (range 3.5–15.0 mmol·l−1). The conclusions of this study suggest that riding in National Hunt races is a physically demanding occupation. The muscular activity in this profession requires a high metabolic drive and produces a significant cardiorespiratory response.
Article
The aim of this study was to test the linearity, precision, and accuracy of the measurements made by the K2 system at sea level (SL) and moderate altitude (MA) (barometric pressure = 591.5 +/- 0.5 mm Hg). To minimize the day-to-day biovariability, a testing protocol based on repeated-alternated measures was used at rest and during three levels of submaximal exercice lasting 12 min each, at 25%, 50%, 75% of the peak workload. The measurements of the respiratory parameters were compared with those obtained with a metabolic measurement cart. The results reported in this study show that the K2 system was an accurate and consistent system for oxygen uptake (VO2) measurements at SL. The K2 system was consistent at MA; however, the K2 system significantly overestimated and underestimated the VO2 computations at rest and 25% of the peak workload, respectively. The calculation of VO2 using the K2 system which assumes that RER = 1.00 had specific effects for the calculation of oxygen uptake. The measurements of FEO2 selectively differed from those obtained with the metabolic measurement cart at MA. Therefore, we concluded that the K2 system was an accurate system for VO2 measurements during submaximal exercices (50%-75% of the peak workload) under laboratory conditions at MA (up to 2,000 m).
Evaluation of the cosmed K2 telemetry system during exercise at moderate altitude A ®tness-check for riders in consideration of a functional anatomy analysis of riding [Abstract]
  • Bigard Ax
  • Guezennec
  • Cy
Bigard AX, Guezennec CY (1995) Evaluation of the cosmed K2 telemetry system during exercise at moderate altitude. Med Sci Sports Exerc 27: 1333±1338 Bojer M, LoÈ tzerich H, Trunz E (1998) A ®tness-check for riders in consideration of a functional anatomy analysis of riding [Abstract]. J Sports Med 19: 56
The rela-tionship between mechanical work and energy expenditure of locomotion in horses The quanti®cation of endurance training pro-grams Exercise and sport sciences reviews The physical de-mands of riding in national hunt races A study of physical demands in riding
  • Minetti Ae
  • Reinach E Ardigoá Lp
  • Saibene
Minetti AE, ArdigoÁ LP, Reinach E, Saibene F (1999) The rela-tionship between mechanical work and energy expenditure of locomotion in horses. J Exp Biol 202: 2329±2338 Pollock ML (1973) The quanti®cation of endurance training pro-grams. In: Willmore JH (ed) Exercise and sport sciences reviews. Academic Press, New York, pp 155±188 Trowbridge EA, Cotterill JV, Crofts CE (1995) The physical de-mands of riding in national hunt races. Eur J Appl Physiol 70: 66±69 Westerling D (1983) A study of physical demands in riding. Eur J Appl Physiol 50: 373±382
The quanti®cation of endurance training programs. In: Willmore JH (ed) Exercise and sport sciences reviews
  • M L Pollock
Pollock ML (1973) The quanti®cation of endurance training programs. In: Willmore JH (ed) Exercise and sport sciences reviews. Academic Press, New York, pp 155±188
A ®tness-check for riders in consideration of a functional anatomy analysis of riding
  • M Bojer
  • H Loè Tzerich
  • E Trunz
Bojer M, LoÈ tzerich H, Trunz E (1998) A ®tness-check for riders in consideration of a functional anatomy analysis of riding [Abstract].