Equestrian coaches’ assessment of rider competence at the rising trot

Lucy Dumbell, Kelly Lessel

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


    Introduction: Horse riding is a high-risk activity although the level of risk to riders decreases with knowledge (Thompson et al. 2015); thus, correct tuition is imperative. A skill that is frequently taught in early lessons is performing the rising trot (RT). Despite this, there are no standardised skill assessment criteria to guide coaching practice.  The objectives of this study were to identify whether equestrian coaches agree on the skill level of riders in rising trot from video clips and can assess competency within the rising trot.

    Materials & Methods: There were 284 anonymous survey responses to the online questionnaire shared to individuals who were over eighteen years of age and active equestrian coaches was administered through FacebookTM discipline and interest groups. A pilot study with five coaches was conducted to determine video length. The questionnaire was tested for coherency by three coaches prior to administration and was approved through the Hartpury Ethics Committee. The questionnaire included demographic questions and analysis of 3 video clips to assess rider competency (competent/ not competent and a score on a 0-10 scale) within the RT. Of the 284 respondents, 132 did not contain complete assessments for all three video clips and were therefore discounted. The remaining 152 participants’ responses were analysed using Microsoft Excelä. Intra-observer reliability was tested by comparing answers to questions regarding rider competency and the gradings given per rider.

    Discussion & Conclusions: Equestrian coaches did not consistently demonstrate intra-observer reliability when assessing competence at RT, nor did the reliable equestrian coaches demonstrate convincing inter-observer reliability for all riders.  Despite the RT being a fundamental riding skill, it was clear that developing a clear criterion for this skill would be of benefit, although expert equestrian coaches did reach agreement as to competence.

    Results:  Responses were received from individuals with no coaching qualifications (10.6%) ranging to International Group for Equestrian Qualifications (IGEQ) expert coaches (2.0%).  Seventy-six percent of participants demonstrated intra-observer reliability when assessing the competence of the riders at RT, although all IGEQ expert coaches were reliable. Reliable equestrian coaches demonstrated strong agreeability when assessing Rider 1 and Rider 3 – with the majority deeming Rider 1 as incompetent and Rider 3 as competent – however, Rider 2 was deemed competent by 55% (see table 1) and therefore, the assessment for this rider was not reliable.  The respondents did not demonstrate consensus on the skill of each rider, judged on a scale from 0-10, within three video clips, but did demonstrate broad agreement on the relative skill level of the riders.

    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2018
    Event8th Alltech-Hartpury student conference: 2nd May 2018 - University Centre Hartpury, Gloucester, United Kingdom
    Duration: 2 May 20182 May 2018


    Conference8th Alltech-Hartpury student conference: 2nd May 2018
    Abbreviated titleAlltech 2018
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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