INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRECISION ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING Vol. 14, No. 8, pp. 1471-1478 AUGUST 2013 / 1471
© KSPE and Springer 2013
Analysis of the Indoor Horse Riding Exercise
Equipment on the Young People
Seung-Rok Kang1, Chang-Ho Yu2, Gu-Young Jung3, Dong-An Moon4, Sang-Yong Park5,
Jung-Ja Kim2, and Tea-Kyu Kwon2,6,#
1 School of Healthcare Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 561-756, Korea
2 Division of Biomedical Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 561-756, Korea
3 Center of Healthcare Technology, Chonbuk National University, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 561-756, Korea
4 Center of Sports Science, Chonbuk National Athlete Association, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 561-810, Korea
5 Corporation of Neipplus, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-825, Korea
6 Bioengineering Research Center for the Aged, Chonbuk National University, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 561-756, Korea
# Corresponding Author / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, TEL: +82-63-270-4066, FAX: +82-63-270-2247
KEYWORDS: Horse riding, Exercise effect, Human body effect, Exercise instrument for indoor
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of indoor horse riding exercise equipment on the young people in their twenties.
We classified the effects into flexibility, muscle strengthening, and muscular reaction. Subjects performed horse riding exercise using
SRider (Neipplus Co. & Chonbuk National Univ, Korea) that we developed. Twenty male and twenty female subjects were included
and they had no experience with horse riding as an exercise and no medical history of falling. Exercise was performed for 45 min
a day and 3 days a week during 8 weeks in a constant temperature and humidity environment. Once a week, we conducted the body-
effect measurements. We measured forward trunk flexion and backward trunk extension to verify the improvement of flexibility. We
also measured lumbar joint torque using the BIODEX System3 to verify the improvement of muscle strength and reaction. Our results
of flexibility showed that values of forward trunk flexion and backward trunk extension after the exercise were higher than those before
the exercise. It also presented that the stimulated three-dimensional movement of the horse riding exercise activated joints and muscles
not usually used. Besides, the continuous movement of horse riding can reduce muscle tonus and relax stiff muscles. The muscle
strengthening and muscular reaction results showed that peak lumbar joint torque after the exercise was higher than that before the
exercise. We found that the horse riding exercise using indoor equipment improved flexibility, muscle strength, and muscular reaction.
Moreover, we hope that this work will help us understand the exercise characteristic of this equipment.
Manuscript received: July 17, 2012 / Accepted: April 9, 2013
A reduction in the quantity of exercise increases the risk for disease,
and this trend is developing into a social problem.1 The Ministry of
Culture, Sports and Tourism pushed ahead with a national physical
fitness survey every two years for developing a new policy of physical
fitness. Also, they reported that the people have an exercise
participation trend coinciding with the ‘Global Recommendation on
Physical Activity for Health’ of the world health organization (WHO)
from the results of a national sport participation survey in 2012. WHO
recommended that adults and elder people should engage in over one
hundred and fifty minutes of physical activity per week for
strengthening muscles and bones including aerobic exercise.2 However,
regular exercise was only performed in 35.9%. Especially, young
people in their twenties did absolutely no exercise in 67.3% for women
and in 50.0% for men, which was the highest among age groups.
Having no time was the main reason for not exercising. Beside the
reason for not exercising, health problems were principal in individuals
over 50 years old but lack of time was the major reason for individuals
in their 20’s. This indicated inconsistent result that they could take care
of their health when people were healthy, but they would not. These
trends are found to explain as below.
People in their 20’s knew how important exercise is to themselves.
But they just prefer the entertainment factor as leisure life to the effect
of exercise. Moreover, most exercise devices have only been developed
for an exercise effect without entertainment. For these reasons, there
has been a recent interest in horse riding as exercise because it could
provide exercise including other activities. Moreover, horse riding is a
1472 / AUGUST 2013 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRECISION ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING Vol. 14, No. 8
whole body exercise with an outstanding exercise effect. Horse riding
has been known to not only be beneficial as exercise but also for
rehabilitation and treatment of patients with disabilities.3 Due to these
reasons, many researches have progressed and reported on the exercise
effect of horse riding. As a whole body exercise, horse riding
strengthens hip flexibility and corrects posture.4 In particular, because
horse riding uses all body muscles, it could improve postural balance,
muscle strength, and flexibility.5 Horse riding is a three-dimensional
(3D) movement and stimulates deep muscles, which activate muscles
and joints. Recovery of function can be gained by improving blood
circulation.6 Many studies have investigated the effect of horse riding
exercise scientifically. For example, horse rider movement helps
maintain postural balance and prompts continuous muscle contraction
and relaxation, which improves physical balance.7 Also, horse riding
exercise is similar to the effect obtained by gait training, because of the
similarity in the pelvic motor gait when horse riding.8 Moreover, horse
riding strengthens the knee flexors and quadriceps muscles.9
Furthermore, the effect of horse riding exercise has been validated by
the correlation among muscular endurance, agility, coordination,
flexibility, equilibrium, and aerobic capacity.10,11
Horse riding exercise has developed into a whole body leisure sport,
but has not become popular due to the limits of time, place, and cost.
Therefore, many horse riding exercise devices that copy a horse’s
movement have been developed for indoor exercise. Muscular endurance
of the entire body, muscle strength, equilibrium, and flexibility improve
following indoor horse riding exercise using a horse simulator.12 Indoor
horse riding exercise stimulates particular areas only provided by a horse
through electromyography analysis on a horse riding simulator.13
However, most horse riding exercise devices have not been tested,
because research on indoor horse riding has not used commercialized
equipment. Furthermore, few studies on the effect of indoor horse riding
exercise equipment have studied the effects on the human body. So, there
is a need to research the effects of horse riding exercise equipment for
detailed and quantifiable effect on the young people.
The objective of our study was to verify the exercise effect of
commercialized horse riding equipment and to suggest a quantifiable
exercise effect concerning basal fitness, muscle strength, muscle
reaction and flexibility on the human body for evaluating the possibility
of health improvement.
2. Experimental Method
2.1 Participants and equipment
The subjects included ten males and ten females in their twenties,
who had no horse riding exercise experience and no medical history or
drug treatment. Table 1 presents the physical information of the subjects
who were selected by the pre-test. The criteria for selection included an
average physical fitness level after tests of muscle strength, muscular
endurance, flexibility, agility, explosive power, and aerobic capacity.
We used the SRider (Neipplus Co. & Chonbuk National Univ,
Korea) as the horse riding exercise equipment. Exercise intensity can
be adjusted by controlling the speed and range of saddle movement as
shown in Fig. 1.
2.2 Experimental procedure
We measured body composition, physical fitness, forward trunk
flexion, backward trunk extension, lumbar joint torque, and power of
the lumbar joint to evaluate flexibility and strength of the lumbar joint
before testing. Subjects performed the horse riding exercise for
45 minutes a day and progressed to 3 days a week during the 8 weeks
of using the SRider. The same posture was maintained during exercise
to reduce error between subjects. We measured body composition and
physical fitness once a week. All subjects were aware of the study
purpose. Indoor temperature was maintained at 19oC. After 8 weeks of
exercise, we analyzed variations in forward trunk flexion, backward
trunk extension, and lumbar joint torque. Figure 2 is a block diagram
showing the effect of the horse riding exercise on the human body.
Table 1 Physical information of participants
Age 2.5 ±3.1 yr 25 ±2.7 yr
Height 175 ±2.5 cm 165 ±3.5 cm
Weight 60 ±3.7 kg 45 ±2.1 kg
Fig. 1 SRider as the horse riding exercise equipment (Neipplus Co. &
Chonbuk National Univ, Korea)
Fig. 2 Block-diagram of the effect of horse riding exercise on the
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRECISION ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING Vol. 14, No. 8 AUGUST 2013 / 1473
2.3 Riding posture and movement of horse riding
We used the SRider, which provided 3D rotational movement of the
abdomen centrically and 2D movement of the whole body during the
pitch and roll. Subjects rode the SRider for 45 minutes. Subjects
attempted to maintain their posture by stretching their waist at 90o, and
gripped the handle softly. The legs were placed on the pedals at a right
angle with eyes forward. Figure 3 demonstrates the riding posture and
movement directions during the horse riding exercise.
2.4 Methods to measure the effect of the horse riding exercise on
Our study attempted to perform three kinds of tests for estimating
the positive effect factor according to horse riding exercise. One was
basal physical fitness for the overall physical test that consists of a
body composition and physical test. The second was isokinetic muscle
function for estimating muscle strength and reaction. Finally, the third
was trunk flexibility for observing the variance of range regarding
motion in the forward and backward direction of the trunk.
First, we tried to measure basal physical fitness before and after the
exercise. The body composition measurements consisted of the
amounts of muscle and body fat. Body composition was measured to
verify increases in the amount of muscle and decreases in weight. We
used Inbody 2.0 (Biospace, Inc., Seoul, South Korea) for measuring
body composition. The physical test consisted of muscle strength,
muscular endurance, flexibility, agility, explosive strength, and aerobic
capacity. For evaluating the physical test, we used Helmas 2.0 (O2
Run, Inc., Seoul, South Korea). The physical test had six elements, and
each element consisted of several parts. The parts for muscle strength
were grip power, back muscle strength and leg extension power. So, we
measured left and right hand grip power, strength of the back muscles
and leg extension power in both legs twice and recorded the better
score as Fig. 4. For the muscular endurance part, we measured the
number of sit-ups that could be performed in 30 seconds as Fig. 5. In
the flexibility part, we also measure forward trunk flexion in the sitting
position twice and recorded the better score. In the test flexibility test,
subjects maintained posture with a stretched straight knee for 3 seconds
as Fig. 6. But this was only in the forward direction with a sit position.
We tested reaction time twice in the entire body in the agility part and
recorded the better score. For the agility test, the equipment provided
the subject with a visual and audio signal, and the subject followed the
Fig. 3 Movement and posture on the SRider during the horse riding
exercise : (a) rotation movement focused on the abdomen, (b) movement
up, down, and left and right worked the whole body, (c) posture
Fig. 4 Whole body muscle strength test : (a) grip power test, (b) back
muscle strength, (c) isokinetic strength
Fig. 5 Sit-up to test muscular endurance using a motion-capture sensor
Fig. 6 Forward trunk flexion in sit position to measure flexibility
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signal. The surrounding environment was kept quiet during this test as
Fig. 7. The explosive strength parts consisted of a 3 meter shuttle run
and a standing high jump. The 3 meter shuttle run was performed for
20 seconds, the standing high jump was conducted twice, and the better
score was recorded as Fig. 8. We evaluated maximum oxygen
consumption to measure aerobic capacity using a cycle ergometer.
Subjects cycled until they reached their maximum heart rate as shown
below in Fig. 9
Second, we measured forward trunk flexion and backward trunk
extension using TAKEI (Takei, Co., Tokyo, Japan) and adapted other
methods to evaluate flexibility in each direction as Fig. 10. Beside, this
is not same with flexibility in basal physical fitness. Subjects stood on
a plate and flexed their trunk forward slowly. The subjects maintained
the stretch on their knees and held it for 3 seconds. While maintaining
this posture, we measured the distance from the ground to the edge of
the fingers. For the backward trunk extension, while laying down with
their face down, subjects leaned backward slowly to use their
abdominal and lumbar strength. Subjects did not rebound from the
waist. While keeping this posture, we measured the distance from the
ground to the mandible. All of these tests were performed twice, and
we recorded the better score.
Third, we used Biodex system3 (Biodex Medical Systems Co., New
York, USA) for observing the variance of muscle function. So, we
measured lumbar joint peak torque for muscle strength and average
power for muscle reaction time in muscle function. We adapted a semi-
standing posture to reduce error from the ground reaction force. We
measured joint torque by measuring the range of motion 60o from the
vertical condition with the waist forward. In addition, we also evaluated
peak torque and average lumbar joint power as shown below in Fig. 11.
2.5 Statistical analysis
We analyzed variations in elements of basal physical fitness,
flexibility for range of motion in the forward and backward direction
Fig. 7 Test of agility for the whole body with visual and audio stimulus
Fig. 8 Explosive strength test for measuring power: (a) 3 m side step,
and (b) standing high jump
Fig. 9 Aerobic capacity test of maximum oxygen consumption until
subjects pedaled to their maximum heart rate
Fig. 10 Measurement of flexibility: (a) forward trunk flexion, (b)
backward trunk extension
Fig. 11 Measurement of lumbar joint torque
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of the trunk including lumbar joint peak torque and average power.
Statistical analyses were performed with SPSS 18.0 for Windows
(SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Data are presented as mean ±S.D. The
significance of differences in the parameters of basal physical fitness,
flexibility of the trunk and isokinetic muscle function between the tests,
was evaluated using repeated measures analysis of variance with post
hoc Bonferroni-adjusted paired t-tests. A p-value of < 0.05 was
accepted as representing a significant difference.
We measured body composition, physical fitness, forward trunk
flexion, backward trunk extension, and lumbar joint torque before and
after exercise. All subjects improved after 4 weeks, but the
improvements increased sharply at 6 weeks.
3.1 Variations in body composition
All subjects performed body composition pretests using Inbody 2.0,
and they had body fat of 16.9 ±1.2545 and muscle amounts of 44.9 ±
3.6584, which were within the normal range.
Body fat is categorized as subcutaneous fat and intra-abdominal fat,
and these vary in individuals depending on food and exercise levels.
Subcutaneous fat and intra-abdominal fat higher than the normal range
may cause an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes,
hypertension, and high cholesterol. Body fat is typically 15 - 20% in
males and 20 - 25% in females. The amount of muscle is defined by
weight. In our study, body fat was 15.48 ±1.25, which decreased by
8.4% after 4 weeks of exercise. Body fat further decreased to 13.95 ±
1.23 at 8 weeks after exercise, which was a decline of 17.4%. The
amount of muscle was 44.90 ±3.65, which was an increase of 3.75%
after 4 weeks of exercise. Further increases to 48.10 ±2.95 at 8 weeks
after exercise were observed, which was an increase of 7.8%. Table 2
presents the results of body composition and the amount of muscle in
3.2 Variations in physical fitness
We analyzed the improvements in physical fitness after the horse
riding exercise. Physical fitness consisted of muscle strength, muscular
endurance, flexibility, agility, explosive strength, and aerobic capacity.
The results of muscle strength showed that grip power, back muscle
strength, and isokinetic strength all significantly improved after 8
weeks. Grip power of subjects improved from 35.23 ±6.83 to 38.95 ±
5.21 after 4 weeks of exercise and to 52.47 ±3.24 after 8 weeks of
exercise, which was an increase of 34.7%. Back muscle strength
improved from 80.37 ±11.88 to 89.15 ±8.15 after 4 weeks of exercise
to 112.36 ±5.31 after 8 weeks, which was an increase of 39.8%.
Isokinetic strength improved from 107.12 ±10.45 to 126.21 ±10.51
after 4 weeks of exercise and further to 145.45 ±8.54 after 8 weeks of
exercise, which was a significant increase of 35.7%. Table 3 shows the
variations in muscle strength elements before and after exercise. The
results of sit-ups for muscular endurance improved significantly by
32.6% after 8 weeks. Sit-ups increased from 18.25 ±2.50 before
exercise to 20.15 ±1.25 at 4 weeks and to 24.21 ±1.52 at 8 weeks
(Table 5). The results of forward trunk flexion in a sitting position
showed that flexibility improved from 5.64 ±2.38 before exercise to
9.21 ±4.68 after 4 weeks of exercise to 13.99 ±2.11 after 8 weeks,
which was a significant increase of 148.1% (Table 4). The results of the
3 meter shuttle run and standing high jump for explosive strength
improved significantly. The results of the 3 meter shuttle run were
29.00 ±3.32 before, 30.84 ±1.98 at 4 weeks, and 35.00 ±2.52 at
8 weeks, which was an increase of 20.6%. Standing high jump strength
improved from 30.09 ±3.57 to 31.32 ±2.21 at 4 weeks to 35.25 ±1.98
at 8 weeks, which was a 17.1% increase. Table 4 demonstrates the
explosive strength results. Maximum oxygen consumption improved
significantly from 45.1 ±2.98 to 46.98 ±1.15 at 4 weeks and 48.9 ±
3.11 at 8 weeks, which was an increase of 8.4%. Among the physical
fitness tests, aerobic capacity showed less improvement after the horse
riding exercise than other measures (Table 5).
3.3 Variations in forward trunk flexion for flexibility
After 8 weeks, we found that all subjects had improved trunk
forward flexion within a narrow range. The increase in average forward
trunk flexion in all subjects improved flexibility significantly by 4.8 cm
at 4 weeks (76.19%) and 7.7 cm at 8 weeks (127.16%). Figure 12
shows the variations in forward trunk flexion before and after the horse
3.4 Variations in backward trunk extension for flexibility
After 2 weeks, we found significant improvements in backward
trunk extension until 8 weeks. The results of backward trunk extension
increased to 6.9 cm (13.89%) at 4 weeks and 8.9 cm at 8 weeks
(16.39%). Figure 13 presents the variability in backward trunk
extension before and after the horse riding exercise.
Table 2 Results of body composition before and after exercise
Rate of Body Fat (%) Amount of Muscle (kg)
pre-test 16.90 ±1.25 44.90 ±3.65
4-weeks 15.48 ±1.68 46.51 ±2.15
8-weeks 13.96 ±1.24 48.10 ±2.96
Table 3 Results of muscle strength in physical fitness
pre-test 35.23 ±6.83 80.37 ±11.83 107.12 ±10.45
4-weeks 38.95 ±5.21 89.15 ±8.15 126.21 ±10.52
8-weeks 47.48 ±3.25 112.37 ±5.31 145.45 ±8.54
Table 4 Results of flexibility, side step and standing high jump
Flexibility (cm) Side Step (times) Standing High Jump (cm)
pre-test 5.64 ±2.39 29.01 ±3.32 30.09 ±3.57
4-weeks 9.22 ±4.68 30.85 ±1.98 31.32 ±2.21
8-weeks 13.99 ±2.11 35.05 ±2.52 35.25 ±1.98
Table 5 Results of aerobic capacity, sit-up and whole body reaction
pre-test 45.10 ±2.98 18.25 ±2.51 304.35 ±20.53
4-weeks 46.98 ±1.15 20.15 ±1.25 284.54 ±29.16
8-weeks 48.90 ±3.11 24.21 ±1.52 247.54 ±11.21
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3.5 Variations in lumbar joint torque
We measured lumbar joint torque using the BIODEX System3 to
evaluate improvements in muscle strength. Joint torque is defined as that
force on a rotated joint due to muscle contraction; that is, the total force on
the muscle-related joint during the range of motion. Results of peak lumbar
joint torque showed movement within a narrow range for 2 weeks at
61.45 ±4.35, but improved sharply after 4 and 8 weeks to 103.90 ±6.87,
which was an increase of 67.16%. Figure 14 shows the variations in peak
lumbar joint torque before and after the horse riding exercise.
3.6 Variations in the muscular reaction of the lumbar joint
We measured average muscle power using the BIODEX System3.
Average power is defined as the actual contraction time of a muscle
divided by total work. Total work is the peak torque multiplied by the
range of motion. Thus, total work is directly proportional to peak
torque, because we provided the same range of motion to all subjects.
That is, total work means peak torque and average power is reversely
proportional to the actual contraction time of the muscle, and we
judged that average power could be used as an index of muscular
reaction. Results of peak lumbar joint torque showed improvement
within a narrow range after 2 weeks, but average power increased
sharply after 2 weeks from 49 ±3.68 to 64.7 ±4.55, which was an
increase of 91%. Figure 15 shows the variations in average lumbar
joint power before and after the horse riding exercise.
Moreover, the average power is not only improved bout also value
of whole body reaction increased for agility. The evaluation of agility
resulted in a decrease from 304.35 ±20.5 before exercise to 284.54 ±
29.16 after 4 weeks of exercise to 247.54 ±11.21 at 8 weeks, which
was a significant decline of 22.9% (Table 5).
We verified the exercise effect of commercialized horse riding
equipment and quantified the exercise effects. We performed an
evaluation of the effect on the human body using the SRider, which is
a commercialized piece of horse riding equipment. We also evaluated
body composition physical fitness, forward trunk flexion, backward
trunk extension, and lumbar joint torque with a focus on exercise in
participants of this research.
4.1 Effects of body composition according to horse riding
All subjects underwent a body composition pretest and had body fat
(16.9 ±1.2545) and amount of muscle (44.9 ±3.6584) within the
normal range. After 4 weeks of exercise, body fat decreased 8.4% and
declined 17.4% after 8 weeks. The horse riding exercise had
characteristics of aerobic exercise and an effect on diet. These results
suggest that the rapid 3D movement of horse riding movement may
help metabolize fats and increase oxygen demand. We confirmed that
aerobic capacity improved significantly by 8.4% in 8 weeks. These
results are similar to those of previous research.10
4.2 Effects of muscle strength and muscular endurance according
to horse riding
We found that grip power, back muscle strength, isokinetic strength,
lumbar joint torque, and the quantity of muscle all improved
significantly after 8 weeks of the horse riding exercise. Grip power
Fig. 12 Variability of forward trunk flexion before and after the horse
riding exercise (mean ±SD, *p < 0.05)
Fig. 13 Variability of backward trunk flexion before and after the horse
riding exercise (mean ±SD, *p < 0.05)
Fig. 14 Variation of peak lumbar joint torque before and after the horse
riding exercise (mean ±SD, *p < 0.05)
Fig. 15 Variation in the average power of the lumbar joint before and
after the horse riding exercise (mean ±SD, *p < 0.05)
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRECISION ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING Vol. 14, No. 8 AUGUST 2013 / 1477
improved 34.7%, suggesting that gripping the handle to prevent falls
from the SRider added strength to the hands. Based on the rapid
movement of the equipment, subject’s muscle strength in the upper
limbs improves.13 The back muscle strength of subjects increased
39.8%. We believed that the horse riding exercise would improve
abdominal and lumbar muscle strength by maintaining posture. These
results are similar to a study6 which reported that the horse riding
exercise strengthens the abdominal and lumbar muscle through 3D
movement. Isokinetic strength increased significantly by 35.7%.
Muscle strength in the lower limbs improved because both of the legs
are stretched to prevent falling.14 The amount of muscle improved
significantly by 7.8%, indicating that the horse riding exercise
improved muscle strength. We also found that the horse riding exercise
improved muscular endurance. The results of sit-ups for muscular
endurance improved significantly by 32.6% (Table 5). Thus, the 3D
movement of the horse riding exercise strengthened postural balance
and stability with contributions to muscle strength and muscular
endurance. The horse riding exercise provides a continuous effect on
all muscle groups, not just the gross motor movement. In our study we
found similar improvements.15 Furthermore, most of the muscle strength
and muscular endurance elements improved between 4 and 6 weeks.
4.3 Effects of flexibility according to horse riding
We measured backward trunk extension and forward trunk flexion
in both sitting and standing posture to improve flexibility. As a result,
all improved significantly. This result is similar to a previous study
where flexibility, muscle strength, and muscular endurance all
improved in females after using the horse riding exercise equipment.15
We found that the rotating movement of the horse riding exercise
caused a stretch and reflex effect that improved flexibility and
equilibrium, similar to the report of Bobath et al.16 Furthermore, the
horse riding exercise reduces muscle tonus and relaxes stiff muscles by
providing continuous movement.17 We thought that flexibility improved
from the stretching effect of riding the horse riding equipment.
Flexibility increased within a narrow range by 2 weeks, but, after 4
weeks, flexibility increased sharply.
4.4 Effects of muscular reaction according to horse riding
Our study analyzed the reaction of the whole body to the horse
riding exercise by testing agility and average power in the lumbar joint
to evaluate muscular reaction. After the horse riding exercise, the
whole body reaction decreased from 304.35 ±20.5 to 247.54 ±11.21,
which was a significant decline of 22.9%. Results of average power in
the lumbar joint increased sharply from 49 ±3.68 to 64.7 ±4.55, which
was an increase of 91%. Based on this trend, we found that the average
power of the lumbar joint improved sharply within 2 weeks, whereas
peak lumbar joint torque improved by 4 weeks, suggesting that the
exercise effect occurred in 2 weeks. Also, horse riding exercise
stimulates both sensory and motor nerves through repetitive and
rhythmical movement.18,19 We suggest that these rhythmical and
repetitive movements affected sensory and motor nerves to improve
Most horse riding exercise studies have used outdoor horses and not
indoor horse machines. Our study objectives were to verify the exercise
effect of commercialized horse riding equipment and to suggest the
duration required to gain an exercise effect. Further studies should be
conducted including subjects with different ages and lifestyles.
Horse riding exercise has an effect on diet as a characteristic of
aerobic exercise. We suggest that the rapid 3D movement of horse
riding can help metabolize fats and increase oxygen demand after 8
weeks. The horse riding exercise improved muscle strength and
endurance in 6 weeks, because the abdominal and lumbar muscles must
be strong to maintain posture during the 3D movement.
We also found that the rotating movement of the horse riding
exercise caused a stretch and reflex effect, which helped improve
flexibility in 4 weeks. The horse riding exercise also improved
muscular reaction by reducing the real contraction time of muscles. The
rhythmic and repetitive movement may have affected sensory and
motor nerves to improve muscular reaction in 2 weeks.
The results suggest that horse riding exercise using equipment such
as the SRider could be applied to provide exercise for patients with
This work was supported by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy
(QoLT Technology Development, No. 10036494) and the Sports
Promotion Fund of Seoul Olympic Sports Promotion Foundation from
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
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