Article

Science in brief: Interactions between the rider, the saddle and the horse

Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA.
Equine Veterinary Journal (Impact Factor: 2.37). 01/2013; 45(1):3-4. DOI: 10.1111/evj.12006
Source: PubMed
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    • "The cause and effect link between pathology and dysfunctional thoracolumbar biomechanics needed to be established. We also highlighted the limitations of the currently available objective methods for measuring interactions between the horse, saddle and rider, an issue discussed at the inaugural Saddle Research Trust International Workshop (Clayton, 2013). The purpose of the current review is to discuss recent developments in saddle, girth and numnah fit, saddle slip and the potential consequences to horses and riders of ill-fitting saddles. "
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies have shown that there is a high prevalence of ill-fitting saddles. Many riders do not have saddle fit professionally assessed on at least an annual basis. Back dimensions can change considerably over the period of a year and therefore saddle fit should be assessed several times yearly, especially if work intensity has been altered. Saddle fit should be evaluated before and after exercise because back dimensions can change during work. Ideally, horses should be ridden in individual purpose-fitted saddles, rather than the same saddle being used on several horses. There remains little scientific rationale for the use of pads and numnahs under a saddle, except to temporarily improve saddle fit, and the use of numnahs that exert pressure on the spinous processes can be detrimental to performance. Although saddle slip consistently to one side can be associated with poor saddle fit or asymmetry of the horse's back, the most common cause is hindlimb lameness.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · The Veterinary Journal
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    • "The majority of right-handed people flex their right hip stronger when riding a horse. Clayton (2013) explains this with leg length asymmetry. They further describe an elevation of the right ischium and posterior ilium what is caused by the rotation of the right ilium anteroventrally . "
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    ABSTRACT: In dressage riding the pelvis of the rider interacts with the horse physically. However, there is little information about the influence of riding skill on the interaction of the human pelvis with the horse. Therefore this paper aims to study the interaction between horse and rider in professional riders (PRO) and beginners (BEG). Twenty riders rode in walk, trot, and canter in an indoor riding hall with inertial sensors attached to their pelvis and to the horses' trunk. Statistical analysis of waveform parameters, qualitative interpretation of angle-angle plots, and cross-correlation of horse and rider were applied to the data. Significant differences between PRO and BEG could be found for specific waveform parameters. Over all gaits PRO kept their pelvis closer to the mid-position and further forward whereas BEG tilted their pelvis further to the right and more backwards. The coupling intensity of horse and rider revealed differences between the gaits. Furthermore phase shifts were found between PRO and BEG. This paper describes a sensor-based approach for the investigation of interactions of the human pelvis with the trunk of a horse under in-field conditions. First the results show that the riding level influences the posture of a rider and secondly that differences can be detected with contemporary available sensor technology and methods.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Human movement science
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives To observe postural characteristics of female dressage riders, through application of three-dimensional motion analysis and to assess the effects of athletic taping on postural asymmetry during sitting trot. Design Randomised cross-over. Setting Data collection took place at Myerscough Agricultural College in an indoor riding area. Participants Ten healthy female experienced dressage riders participated. Main outcome measurements Movement kinematics of the trunk and pelvis, pre and post taping intervention. Results Riders presented pre-intervention with asymmetric movement characteristics through dynamic observation of trunk and pelvic postures during sitting trot. A significant increase (p=<0.05) in the range (°) of trunk lateral-flexion following tape intervention applied over the thoracic spine. Conclusion This study supports the quantification of dynamic postural characteristics of dressage athletes by three-dimensional motion analysis. Asymmetrical postures occur within dressage riders when performing sitting trot. The application of tape to ‘align’ asymmetry altered riders’ postures. Taping over the thoracic region resulted in a compensatory increase in motion through the lumbar region. Clinicians should approach the application of postural taping with an awareness of the restrictive mechanisms of tape. Findings may help clinicians determine whether technique/type of tape applied is suitable for achieving marginal gains in the alignment of posture in competitive dressage athletes.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Physical Therapy in Sport

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