Rapid review of performance determinants in Para-Dressage

  • Sarah J. Hobbs (Speaker)
  • L. St. George (Speaker)
  • J. Reed (Speaker)
  • E. Littelfair (Speaker)
  • R. Stockley (Speaker)
  • C. Thetford (Speaker)
  • J. Sinclair (Speaker)
  • Williams, J. (Speaker)
  • Nankervis, K. (Speaker)
  • H. Clayton (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference


    Evidencing the Para-Dressage Classification system in terms of its ability to assess activity limitation is a complex task, as the majority of marks in dressage are awarded to the performance of the horse. The performance of the horse is however completely reliant upon the ability of the equestrian athlete. As such, to quantify performance traits the athlete-horse dyad must be examined.

    The aim of this study was to systematically review current knowledge on the fundamental performance attributes, skills and abilities required for dressage.
    Search strategy: Five databases (SportDiscuss, CINAHL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, VetMed) were systematically searched from 1980 to May 2018.

    Inclusion Criteria: studies were included if they fulfilled the following criteria: 1) English language, 2) employ objective, quantitative outcome measures for describing athlete and horse and human performance in dressage, 3) describe demands of dressage using objective physiological and/ or biomechanical measures from athletes and/ or how these demands are translated into superior performance, 4) describe objective measures of superior horse performance using between-subject comparisons and/ or relating outcome measures to competitive scoring methods.
    The search produced 679 search results. An additional 90 articles were manually added from source material, so 769 results were included in total. Title and abstract screening resulted in 155 articles that met the eligibility criteria. Ninety-seven articles were excluded during the full screening of articles, resulting in 58 included articles (44 for athlete, 14 for horse performance) involving 311 equine and 584 human participants. Included articles underwent data extraction and quality assessment, which was conducted by two reviewers, using the “Critical Review Form for Quantitative Studies” (Law et al., 1998). Descriptive summary tables were used to synthesize results for athlete and horse performance measures. Mean ± sd (%) quality scores were 72.7 ± 14.7 and 63.5 ± 15.3, for athlete and horse performance respectively. Objective measures of performance were extracted and grouped according to gait/movement. Athlete postural position (n=19) and coordination with the horse (n=15) is associated with riding skill. Skilled athletes exhibited smaller forward trunk pitch (n=1), pelvis lateral bending ROM (n=1) and knee flexion-extension ROM (n=1), and larger elbow flexion-extension ROM (n=1). Two determinants of horse performance that spanned more than one gait/movement and were reported by more than one article were found; diagonal advanced placement (n=3 articles) and trunk dorsoventral activity (n=2 articles).
    This study used a systematic method to facilitate the extraction of quantifiable performance measurements for dressage. Most athlete studies quantified the demands for the athlete during riding (n = 41), while some quantified only the physiological demands of athletes during non-riding activities (n = 3). None scientifically linked athlete performance measures to horse performance measures, which is the next step for this project. We will then use this information to quantify the impact of impairment on performance in Para-Dressage.
    PeriodSept 2019
    Event titleInternational Paralympic Committee's (IPC) VISTA Conference
    Event typeConference
    LocationAmsterdam, NetherlandsShow on map