Kinematic analysis of the Side-Saddle rider according to different skill levels

Victoria Lewis, Hannah Tredup

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

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Rationale: Current research has identified significant differences in rider ability across different levels. As rider ability has been known to have a distinct effect on equine performance, it is important to identify the optimal riding style to enable the optimal rider-horse combination. To date there have been no studies assessing side-saddle rider ability. A comparison of novice and advanced side-saddle riders offers an insight into the potential differences and variations in riding style.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to identify whether there were any significant differences in the riding position and weight distribution of novice and advanced side-saddle riders in halt, walk, trot and canter on an equine simulator.
Methodology: 2-D motion analysis was used to determine the angles of the trunk, lower left leg, shoulder symmetry and pelvis symmetry of 8 advanced (ADV) riders and 10 novice (NOV) riders in the 4 conditions stated above. A Tekscan pressure pad was also placed between the simulator and saddle to assess weight distribution by calculating differences in peak pressure (PP).
Results: Statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS version 24 for Mac. A non-parametric Mann Whitney U Test for difference (P0.05) was performed for the comparison of NOV and ADV riders for each positional angle as well as the comparison of PP symmetry. Significant statistical differences were seen between the NOV and ADV groups for shoulder symmetry at walk (P=0.034) and pelvis symmetry for both walk and trot (P=0.043 and P=0.034 respectively). Further positional differences were identified between the two groups, however none were significant (P 0.05) results; this may have been due to the small sample size assessed.
Discussion and Conclusion: This preliminary study has identified significant differences between the NOV and ADV riding styles in different gaits through kinematic and pressure distribution analysis. There is an abundance of research assessing the astride riding position and its influences on the horse which offers a platform for future studies assessing the side-saddle rider position. Out-of-saddle discipline specific exercises to improve rider symmetry and strength are increasing in popularity for the modern rider. Results identifying side-saddle rider asymmetries offer the potential for side-saddle specific exercises to be developed enabling a clear application to industry.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2019
Event26th Equine Science Symposium - North Carolina State University, Asheville, United States
Duration: 3 Jun 20196 Jun 2019


Conference26th Equine Science Symposium
Abbreviated titleESS 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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