Jockey position and surfaces affect kinematics and coordination in trotting racehorse-jockey dyads

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference


Racehorses routinely trot over varied terrain to access gallop tracks and warm-up. Understanding how jockey position influences racehorse movement may have a bearing on safety and stability, and this may vary across surfaces with contrasting fundamental properties, including hardness and regularity. This study used inertial sensing technology (Werkman Black hoof sensors, XSens MTw sensors) and linear mixed models to quantify and determine the significance (P≤0.05) of surface type (tarmac, artificial, grass) and jockey position (rising, two-point seat) on: (1) duration of different stride cycle stages; (2) horse movement symmetry; and (3) horse-jockey temporal coordination. Six ex-racehorses were convenience sampled from the British Racing School and were ridden by one jockey. Statistical models included speed or stride duration as a covariate. Hoof landing duration was 4.3-4.5 times shorter on tarmac compared to grass and artificial (P<0.001). Mid-stance was 19 ms longer on tarmac compared to artificial (P<0.001), while swing lasted 20 ms longer on grass compared to artificial (P<0.036). Mid-stance increased by 13 ms for two-point seat compared to rising (P=0.013). Stride length decreased by 14 cm on tarmac compared to grass (P=0.047) and correlated positively with speed (r2=0.8, P<0.001). Withers asymmetry across stance phases (MinDiff ) increased on artificial and grass compared to tarmac (P≤0.043) and pelvic MinDiff was also higher on artificial compared to tarmac (P=0.048). Poll asymmetry was high across flight phases (MaxDiff, UpDiff ) on grass and MaxDiff/UpDiff at L1, withers and pelvis increased for rising position. Time offsets between horse-jockey movements increased by 2.8-4.5% at stance with the jockey out of saddl
PeriodAug 2023
Event title9th International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion
Event typeConference
LocationUtrecht, NetherlandsShow on map