ArticlePDF Available

Analysis of the Indoor Horse Riding Exercise Equipment on the Young People

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

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.
Content may be subject to copyright.
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: kwon10@jbnu.ac.kr, 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
1. Introduction
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
DOI: 10.1007/s12541-013-0198-4
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
Male Female
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
human body
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
the body
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
1474 / AUGUST 2013 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRECISION ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING Vol. 14, No. 8
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
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRECISION ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING Vol. 14, No. 8 AUGUST 2013 / 1475
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.
3. Results
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
the subjects.
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
riding exercise.
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
Grip Power
(kg)
Back Muscle
Strength (kg)
Isokinetic
Strength (kg)
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
Aerobic Capacity
(ml/kg/min)
Sit-Up
(times/30s)
Whole Body
Reaction(msec)
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
1476 / AUGUST 2013 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRECISION ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING Vol. 14, No. 8
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).
4. Discussion
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
muscular reaction.
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.
5. Conclusions
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
disabilities.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
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.
REFERENCES
1. Kang, D. W., Choi, J. S., Lee, J. W., and Tack, G. R., “Prediction of
Energy Consumption According to Physical Activity Intensity in
Daily Life Using Accelerometer,” Int. J. Precis. Eng. Manuf., Vol.
13, No. 4, pp. 617-621, 2012.
2. Korea Sports Promotion Foundation: Korea Institute of Sports
Science, “The Survey of National Physical Fitness in 2011, “http://
ebook.culturestat.mcst.go.kr/home/view.php?code=3617&searchkey
=&searchandor=&searchval=&host=main&site=20120302_112342
&listPageNow=1&list2PageNow=1.
3. Bertoti, D. B., “Effect of therputic horse riding on posture in
children with cerebral palsy,” Journal of physical Therapy, Vol. 68,
No. 10, pp. 1505-1512, 1988.
4. Jeong, G. Y., Kang, S. R., Lee, S. H., Kim. K., Kim, J. J., Moon, D.
A., and Kwon, T. K., “Evaluation of effect on human body for horse
riding machine,” Proceedings of KSPE 2010 Autumn Conference,
pp. 639-640, 2010.
5. Oh, W. Y., Ryu, J. C., Kim J. H., and Hyun, S. H., “Kinematic
Analysis of Horse-riding Posture during Walking and Rising Trot in
Jeju Horse,” Journal of Korean Society of Sports and Leisure
Studies, Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 741-754, 2009.
1478 / AUGUST 2013 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRECISION ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING Vol. 14, No. 8
6. RDA-Samsung, “Riding for the disabled,” 2002.
7. Han, S. C., Chu, H. G., and Lee, S. H., “The Effects of Horseback
Riding on the Balance Improvement of the Children with Cerebral
Palsy,” Journal of Korean Alliance for Health, Physical Education,
Recreation, and Dance, Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 601-610, 2004.
8. Fleck, C. A., “Hippotherapy : Mechanics of Human Walking and
Horseback Riding,” M.S. Thesis, College of Physical Education,
Athletics and Recreation, University of Delaware, pp. 42-96, 1992.
9. Devienne, M. F. and Guezennec, C. Y., “Energy expenditure of
horse riding,” European Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 82, No.
5-6, pp. 499-503, 2000.
10. Alfredson, H., Hedberg, G., Bergström, E., Nordström, P., and
Lorentzon, R., “High Thigh Muscle Strength but Not Bone Mass in
Young Horseback-Riding Females,” Calcified Tissue International,
Vol. 62, No. 6, pp. 497-501, 1998.
11. Korea Sports Promotion Foundation : Korean Institute of Sports
Science, “Reports of field application research of article of first class
race reader,” 1996.
12. Lee, S. G. and Jeong, J. H., “The Effects of Indoor Horseback-riding
Exercise on Health-related Fitness, Serum Lipids, and Defecation
Satisfaction of Female Collegiate Students,” Journal of Korean
Sports Research, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 153-160, 2005.
13. Bak, J. H., Seong B. J., and Lee, B. W., “The Analysis of
Electromyogram in Horse Riding Simulator,” Journal of Korean
Society of Sports and Leisure Studies, Vol. 23, pp. 341-352, 2005.
14. Son, J., Kim, S., Ahn, S., Ryu, J., Hwang, S., and Kim, Y.,
“Determination of the dynamic knee joint range of motion during
leg extension exercise using an EMG-driven model,” Int. J. Precis.
Eng. Manuf., Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 117-123, 2012.
15. Mackinnon, J. R., Noh, S., Lariviere, J., MacPhail, A., Allan, D. E.,
and Laliberte, D., “A study of therapeutic effect of horeseback riding
with children with cerebral palsy,” Physical & Occupational Trerapy
in Pediatrics, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 17-34, 1995.
16. Cholewicki, J. and VanVliet Iv, J. J., “Relative contribution of trunk
muscles to the stability of the lumbar spine during isometric
exertions,” Clinical Biomechanics, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 99-105, 2002.
17. Bobath, B. and Bobath, K., “Motor development in the different
type of cerebral palsy,” William Heinenmann Medical Books Ltd.,
1975.
18. Sterba, J. A., Rogers, B. T., France, A. P., and Vokes, D. A.,
“Horseback riding in children with cerebral palsy: Effect on gross
motor function,” Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology,
Vol. 44, No. 5, pp. 301-308, 2002.
19. Debuse, D., Gibb, C., and Chandler, C., “Effects of hippotherapy on
people with cerebral palsy from the users’ perspective: A qualitative
study,” Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, Vol. 25, No. 3, pp. 174-
192, 2009.
... Similarly, for biomechanics, flexibility concerns studies do not directly relate to the material sciences, but rather to the adaptable meaning of the word. Scientific evidence underlines the importance of its effects and the ability to be used in various contexts [1,40]. Still, muscle strengthening, actions (concentric, eccentric, etc.), reactions, the variety of speeds of contractions and muscle recruitments and all the relations with bone concepts have been assessed, through selected devices, by various authors reviewed [36][37][38]40,41]. ...
... Scientific evidence underlines the importance of its effects and the ability to be used in various contexts [1,40]. Still, muscle strengthening, actions (concentric, eccentric, etc.), reactions, the variety of speeds of contractions and muscle recruitments and all the relations with bone concepts have been assessed, through selected devices, by various authors reviewed [36][37][38]40,41]. The initial comparison is often related to exercises carried out with free weights and, as a more generic definition provided, the workout against supra-normal loads. ...
Article
Full-text available
Research Question: Fitness equipment is a worldwide ever-growing phenomenon and its usage is nowadays popular both in human routines and academic investigations. Research Methods: This paper is a literature review aiming fitness equipment in relation to all the available findings connected to the complete product life-cycle phases. Results and Findings: Manufacturing industries, which are active realities of the sector, have not been a major concern for sport researchers within the production applicability sub-field. Past root hypotheses, the current state of the art and future guideline applications are addressed. Selected articles were categorised chronologically, by journal, by geographic area and, extensively, by content. Five thematic areas were included: (1) historical background, (2) creation stages, (3) product features, (4) innovation paths and (5) sectoral environments and marketing processes. Implications: By means of the provided findings, there is an opportunity to widen approaches to study fitness equipment that could be extended to the sector’s enterprise applications and methods of work.
... Thus, for a new type of comprehensive rehabilitation treatment, appropriate/proper exercise equipment and health care system need to be developed. 1,2 Researches have focused on comprehensive exercise equipment that provides whole body vibration (WBV) training. Whole body vibration exercise has been introduced to strengthen muscle and bone density for astronauts at first. ...
... The angle to peak torque was the angle when the peak torque reached the maximal point in each trial. In our research, knee joint movement started at 90 o as an anatomical position and finished at 2 The acceleration time was the time to reach one-eighth of the total ROM. Statistical analyses were conducted using SPSS for Windows, version 18.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). ...
Article
Full-text available
This study intended to identify, the effect of the long time whole body vibration exercise on the muscle function and postural balance. The twenties subjects in young people were recruited, and they were classified into WBV and Non-WBV groups. The vibration exercise was conducted 30 minutes a day for 4 days a week for a total 8 weeks; and the vibration protocol were 25Hz frequency and 5mm amplitude. To verify the muscle function according to the long time vibration exercise, the isokinetic muscle function of the knee joint torque was evaluated, while the total work of maximal peak torque to evaluate the enhancement effect of muscular strength, as well as the average power, angle to peak torque, and acceleration time to evaluate the muscular reaction, was analyzed. Also, changes in COP were measured and analyzed to research the functional change of the postural balance. As a result of the experiment, the Non-WBV group did not show changes in the muscular function and postural balance function, while the WBV group showed increased muscular function by 29.11%(maximal peak torque: 17.91%, total work: 26.78%, average power: 39.11%, angle to peak torque: 25.21%, acceleration time: 36.51%), and increased postural balance function by 64.76%.
... A newer version of this equipment developed higher effectiveness [2,3]. This new equipment provides great exercise effects with its benefits of indoor use for seniors, disabled persons, and others who have difficulty in performing outdoor activities [4][5][6][7][8]. ...
... As shown on Figure 1, its shape simulates a horseback and the exercise strength can be controlled by adjusting the speed and range of saddle movement. were assigned attempted to e legs were p hirty minutes nt [4]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study is to verify the effect of indoor horse riding exercise on basal physical exercise and lumbar muscular function. The subjects included were 20 healthy females, who participated in the horse riding exercise using SRider (Rider Co. & ChonbuK National Univ, Korea) for 30 minutes per day, 3 days per week, over a period of 8 weeks. The subjects were divided into 4 groups as follows, with 10 subjects in each group: Postural Balance Exercise mode (PBE), Abdomen Exercise mode (ADE), Whole body Exercise mode (WBE), and Multiple Exercise (MTE). Isokinetic muscular function test was performed before and after the horse riding exercise, to assess the effect of horse riding on basal physical exercise and lumbar muscular function. The test result on basal physical exercise and isokinetic muscular function showed improvements with variable degree in the back muscle strength, maximum joint torque, total work, and muscular acceleration time. The result signifies that the horse riding is an antagonistic exercise mainly performed on waist and abdomen area, and the machine induces persistent muscle contraction and causes myotonic induction enhancing the muscle strength. Indoor horse riding exercise proved its effectiveness for senior or the disabled people who need muscle exercises but have difficulties performing outdoor activities.
... These results indicate that muscular strength was enhanced by the horse-riding exercise. The femoral region muscles of the lower extremities are persistently contracted to maintain body balance [17]. This is similar to the result that enhancement of muscular strength in dementia patients is effective in reducing the risk of falls [6]. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we assessed indoor horse riding exercise's effects on basal physical exercise and activities of daily living (ADL) function using horse riding equipment, involving elderly test subjects (in their sixties). The participants were 20 people with no impediment to activity. They participated in experiments that lasted 60 min per day, 3 days per week, over 8 weeks, using the "SRider" (Rider Co. and Chonbuk National University Korea).We measured trunk flexion, sit-up, whole-body reaction, leg strength, and maximal oxygen uptake as basal physical fitness parameters. Also, 3-m gait, single stance with eyes open, and single stance with eyes closed, as ADL functions, were estimated once per month. The leg strength and whole body reaction result were significantly higher than before the exercise program. Moreover, the results of the 3-m walking ability alone increased significantly among the ADL functions. These findings indicate that the horse riding exercise may activate continuous muscular contraction, maintaining the tonus of the muscles. The continuous movement of horse riding could be lead to isometric muscle contraction in the lower limbs. These results suggest that the horse riding exercise develops muscle power and muscle reactions with exercise.
Article
Horse riding is a female-dominated sport where participation levels are declining. The influence of the breast on participation levels and current satisfaction with bras for this activity is unknown. This study aimed to investigate bra concerns and breast-related barriers to participation in horse riding. A 6-part, 32 question online survey was completed by 1,324 females who participated in horse riding. Descriptive and chi-squared analyses were utilised; inductive content analysis was completed to analyse qualitative responses. At least one breast-related barrier was reported by 25% of all participants. Larger-breasted riders were less satisfied (P<0.001) with their bras. 70% of riders stated that improvements needed to be made in bras to help reduce breast health issues, with support, style and fit the most common reasons cited. This study highlights the importance of addressing breast-related barriers and provides rationale for the development of equestrian-specific breast support garments and educational initiatives.
Article
This study was to provide independent exercise loads in rowing exercise machine, on the improvement of muscle strength imbalance. We recruited twenty four subjects who exhibited one side's muscle strength is bigger in more of greater than 20% than other on one side. One group was dominant left side and the other group was dominant right side. Subjects performed the rowing exercise in electric load deviation rowing machine (Robo.gym, Humonic Co., Ltd, Daegu, Korea). The exercise was progressed to four sets a day including twenty five repetitions per set, and three days a week, for a total of eight weeks. Measurements consist of evaluation of muscular activity, joint torque in the elbow, shoulder. Exercise load deviation adapted that difference value of muscle strength between left and right side arms multiply 1RM% and its plus 1-RM 75% in each side. The result showed that the level of muscle imbalance significantly decreased in shoulder and elbow joint by adapting exercise load deviation. We found out that exercise load deviation provided to the positive effect both muscle strength and endurance at the same time. As a result of this study, rowing exercise using the exercise load deviation is effective in improving muscle strength imbalance.
Conference Paper
Recently, many studies show that an indoor horse riding exercise has a positive effect on promoting health and diet. However, if a rider has an incorrect posture, it will be the cause of back pain. In spite of this problem, there is only few research on analyzing rider’s posture. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to estimate a rider pose from a depth image using the Asus’s Xtion sensor in real time. In the experiments, we show the performance of our pose estimation algorithm in order to comparing the results between our joint estimation algorithm and ground truth data.
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we proposed a new approach for determining the dynamic knee joint range of motion according to the external load applied during leg extension exercise. One elderly participant volunteered. The dynamometer task was performed to develop a subject-specific model using maximum voluntary contractions. EMG signals were also measured simultaneously. After the dynamometer task, 3D motion data were captured during leg extension exercise. The data obtained from the dynamometer task were used to develop the subject-specific model using an EMG-driven model, and then the developed model was used to estimate joint moment during leg extension exercise. Adjusting the model parameters positively affected the correlation and RMS error. The correlation between the model prediction and the measured joint moment increased with decreasing RMS error. The predicted knee joint moments during the leg extension exercise showed the usual inverse parabolic shapes in terms of time. These results implied that the dynamic range of motion should vary according to the external load applied to the joint. In this paper, we proposed a novel method to determine the dynamic knee joint range of motion using an EMG-driven model. We expect that the proposed approach will be employed to design exercise/rehabilitation protocols for the elderly.
Article
Full-text available
Although there is now some evidence for specific effects of hippotherapy on people with cerebral palsy, these studies fail to provide a comprehensive picture of the effects of hippotherapy. This was the first qualitative study to explore the hippotherapy experience of people with cerebral palsy from a user perspective. The effects of hippotherapy and their context were of particular interest. Seventeen users aged from 4 to 63, with or without their parents, participated in focus groups or individual interviews in six centres in Britain and in Germany. The main effects of hippotherapy, as identified by users and parents, are normalisation of muscle tone, improved trunk control, improved walking ability, carryover effects of hippotherapy to activities of daily living, and increased self-efficacy, confidence, and self-esteem. This study provided unique and new insights into the context in which hippotherapy happens, as well as its effects on impairment, activity, participation, and quality of life in people with cerebral palsy. The study's findings are integrated with the existing literature on motor learning and pedagogy to try to explain the complex effects of hippotherapy as reported by users and parents. A conceptual framework that illustrates these effects and their interactions is introduced.
Article
Full-text available
To evaluate whether the type of weight-bearing loading subjected to the skeleton during horseback-riding was associated with differences in bone mass and muscle strength of the thigh, we investigated bone mass and isokinetic muscle strength in 20 female horse riders (age 17.9 +/- 0.6 years) who were riding 7.0 +/- 3.4 hours/week, and 20 nonactive females (age 17.8 +/- 1.1 years). The groups were matched according to age, weight, and height. Areal bone mineral density was measured in total body, head, lumbar spine, right femoral neck, Ward's triangle, and trochanter, the whole dominant and nondominant humerus, and in specific sites in the right femur diaphysis, distal femur, proximal tibia, and tibia diaphysis using dual X-ray absorptiometry. Isokinetic concentric and eccentric peak torque of the quadricep and hamstring muscles were measured using an isokinetic dynamometer. There were no significant differences in bone mass between the horseback riders and nonactives at any site measured. The horse riders were significantly (P < 0.05-0.01) stronger in concentric hamstrings strength at 90 degrees/second and 225 degrees/second and in eccentric quadricep and hamstring strength at 90 degrees/second. Horseback riding in young females is associated with a high muscle strength of the thigh, but not with a high bone mass.
Article
Full-text available
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.
Article
This research aims to accurately predict energy consumption according to physical activity intensity in daily life using an accelerometer. To derive a simple but accurate equation for prediction of correlations between acceleration information and energy consumption according to physical activity intensity, the following practices have been undertaken in this research. First, an experiment has been conducted with accelerometers attached at the waist and wrist. Second, 13 motions in daily life with different physical activity intensities were performed. The experiment was conducted on 20 healthy persons using a respiratory gas analyzer for measurement of actual energy consumption. As a predictive model for energy consumption, a multiple regression equation was developed using accelerometer data and physical information about the subjects. For comparison between single accelerometer attached at the waist and two accelerometers attached at the wrist and waist, the correlation between actual energy consumption and accelerometer output for the former was 0.911 and that for the latter was 0.914, which is not significantly different. This result implied that one accelerometer attached at the waist is practically efficient in terms of prediction of energy consumption. As a result of comparison between a single regression equation without motion classification and several regression equations with inclusive motion classification, it was found that several regression equations showed smaller errors (0.64 vs 0.18). Thus for accurate and practical prediction of energy consumption, it is recommended to use several regression equations with inclusive motion classification and single accelerometer attached at the waist.
Article
The effects of recreational horseback riding therapy (HBRT) on gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy (CP: spastic diplegia, spastic quadriplegia, and spastic hemiplegia) were determined in a blinded study using the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM). Seventeen participants (nine females, eight males; mean age 9 years 10 months, SE 10 months) served as their own control. Their mean Gross Motor Function Classification System score was 2.7 (SD 0.4; range 1 to 5). HBRT was 1 hour per week for three riding sessions of 6 weeks per session (18 weeks). GMFM was determined every 6 weeks: pre-riding control period, onset of HBRT, every 6 weeks during HBRT for 18 weeks, and 6 weeks following HBRT. GMFM did not change during pre-riding control period. GMFM Total Score (Dimensions A-E) increased 7.6% (p<0.04) after 18 weeks, returning to control level 6 weeks following HBRT. GMFM Dimension E (Walking, Running, and Jumping) increased 8.7% after 12 weeks (p<0.02), 8.5% after 18 weeks (p<0.03), and remained elevated at 1.8% 6 weeks following HBRT (p<0.03). This suggests that HBRT may improve gross motor function in children with CP, which may reduce the degree of motor disability. Larger studies are needed to investigate this further, especially in children, with more severe disabilities. Horseback riding should be considered for sports therapy in children with CP.
Article
This article describes major findings from a study of the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding for children with cerebral palsy. Nineteen children (aged 4-12 years) with mild or moderate degrees of cerebral palsy were recruited from a children's treatment centre. Prior to randomization, the children were stratified according to their degree of disability. Ten children were allocated to a riding (experimental) group, and participated in one-hour weekly riding classes for six months. The remaining nine children were put on a waiting list for riding. The results of the study were inconclusive as so often in the case with children with cerebral palsy. Qualitative results gleaned from the weekly progress recordings of the riding instructor, reports of the on-site physical therapist, and reports from parents showed clear progressions in physical and psychosocial functioning. Results of standardized quantitative assessments showed few statistically significant changes in the children. The study clearly indicates a need for further research and for finding or developing instruments that are able to capture and reveal meaningful changes in physical and psychosocial status.
Article
Photocopy. Thesis (M.S.)--University of Delaware, 1992. Principal faculty adviser: David Barlow, College of Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 63-71).
Article
The purpose of this study was to measure postural changes in children with spastic cerebral palsy after participation in a therapeutic horseback riding program. Eleven children with moderate to severe spastic cerebral palsy, aged 2 years 4 months to 9 years 6 months, were selected for this study and underwent postural assessments according to a repeated-measures design. Assessment of posture was performed by a panel of three pediatric physical therapists, using a postural assessment scale designed by the author. A composite score for each test interval was calculated for each child, and a median score was calculated for the entire group at each test interval. Data were analyzed using a Friedman test, assuming an alpha level of .05. A statistically significant difference was found between the three test intervals with significant improvement occurring during the period of therapeutic riding. Clinical improvements were also noted in muscle tone and balance as evidenced by improved functional skills. These results constitute the first objective measure supporting the efficacy of therapeutic horseback riding on posture in children with cerebral palsy.