Asymmetry and leg length inequality in riders while static and in sitting trot

Kirsty McDonald, K. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

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Introduction Asymmetry in horse riders has been acknowledged practically for many years however little quantification of this asymmetry has been achieved to date. However asymmetry of riders has been linked to compensatory injury (Pugh and Bolin 2004) of the rider which is detrimental to performance (Symes and Ellis 2009) and correlations have previously been made with leg length inequality (LLI).
Materials and Method Fifteen female riders (mean age 20±1 yrs, mean height 170±5.5 cm and mean weight 68±9.4 kg), all with a competitive record within a range of disciplines, and riding at least five times a week, were recorded using two cameras situated perpendicularly to the axis of the mechanical horse following a set warm-up protocol. Anatomical markers placed on the rider allowed analysis of joint angles while static and at both the highest and lowest point of movement in sitting trot on a mechanical horse by analysing. Leg length discrepancies (LLD) were also measured to identify any correlations between LLD and angle asymmetries. Although not a variable for this study, the handedness of the riders were recorded; all subjects were right hand dominant.
Results The results showed that while static the angle of the upper arm relative to the ground was larger on the right (P ≤ 0.000), whilst at the lowest point of the sitting trot the angle of the lower leg relative to the ground (P ≤ 0.05) and the angle of the elbow (P ≤ 0.05) were larger on the left side. At the highest point of the trot the angle of the upper arm (P ≤ 0.001) and thigh (P ≤ 0.05) relative to the ground and the angles of the hip (P ≤ 0.05) and the knee (P ≤ 0.01) were larger on the right. Although LLI was not found to be significant, a significant correlation was identified between LLI and the asymmetry the hip angle at the lowest point of the sitting trot (P ≤ 0.05)
Discussion and Conclusion The results of the riders movement demonstrate a preference for the rider to rotate to the left; contributed to by the correlation of hip angle at the lowest point of the sitting trot and LLI; the rotation could therefore be due to unequal loading of the limbs during motion, even during sitting trot. The rotation demonstrated by the upper body, particularly the shoulder and elbow angles reflects rotation of the rider to the left through opening of the elbow and hip angles.
Pugh, T. and Bolin, D. (2004) Overuse injuries in Equestrian Athletes. Current Sports Medicine Reports 3: 297-303
Symes, D. and Ellis, R. A Preliminary Study into Rider Asymmetry within Equitation. The Veterinary Journal. 181:34-37
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event1st Alltech-Hartpury Student Conference - Hartpury College, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Apr 201120 Apr 2011
Conference number: 1


Conference1st Alltech-Hartpury Student Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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