A Study to Investigate Dressage Riders Perception of Dynamic Neuro-Cognitive Imagery™ on Riding Position

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Equestrian performance requires the rider to be stable and balanced for the rider's safety and the horse's welfare. This study explored the riders perception of Dynamic Neuro-Cognitive Imagery (DNI™) on riders position of seven competitive dressage riders. The DNI™ intervention has been shown to significantly improve the performance of University-level dance students. However, there is no empirical evidence to suggest that DNI™ would significantly improve riders position. This research study aims to address this.
A qualitative method using semi-structured questionnaires and focus group interviews were conducted. A sample of intermediate and elite dressage riders (N=7). Riders were asked to attend three sessions of DNI™, which were held over Zoom. Each session lasted for one hour and thirty-minute and was held over three consecutive days. After the sessions, the riders completed an online questionnaire and attended a focus group interview. The riders were asked to describe their experiences of the DNI™ intervention and how the riders perceived the intervention impacted their ridden position. Analysis of the transcripts grouped meanings into 1st order themes, 2nd order themes, general themes and categories. The participants preferred visual and kinesthetic imagery. The riders found that the femur and pelvic bones aided their visual imagery and enhanced the experience. Findings from the study suggest that riders perception of the DNI™ intervention was significant with self-reported improvements in their ridden position, including more body awareness and movement through their lower back and pelvis. The results from this study should be interpreted with caution. This study was qualitative, which is the rider's subjective experience of the DNI™ intervention. It would be recommended to use both qualitative and quantitative methods for future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of physical fitness, medicine and treatment in sport
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2022


  • mental imagery, body awareness, balanced, confidence


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