Postural asymmetry of the rider whilst static and in sitting trot

Kelly Longhurst, Kirsty McDonald

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

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Rider asymmetry is considered a potential performance limiting factor within the equestrian field, however the prevalence and manifestation has yet to be researched to a sufficient level to apply the findings more practically. The purpose of this study was to evaluate rider asymmetry during sitting trot by identifying discrepancies between bilateral joint angles. The study population consisted of fifteen female riders (age 18 to 22 years, 21.5±0.71, body mass 67kg± 9.42kg, height 169.9cm± 5.5cm) with competitive records in a range of disciplines who rode a minimum of five times weekly. Eight angles of the upper limbs, lower limbs and trunk were measured whilst static and during the highest and lowest point of the slow trot speed simulated stride cycle of a Racewood Riding Simulator to quantify positional asymmetry. Leg length discrepancies (LLD) were measured and correlated against angle discrepancies. Two cameras, perpendicularly situated to the mechanical horse, captured the static and dynamic footage and angular data was generated using Dartfish 5.5. Overall, the right side of the torso displayed a more vertical position (P≤0.001) and the right hand was positioned lower; in addition, the right upper arm absolute angle was greater (p≤0.001) indicating a closer positioning to the riders’ torso than the left. During peak trot stride the right side absolute angles of the trunk (P≤0.001; L:85.6˚ R:90.5˚) and thigh (P≤0.05; L:46.5˚ R:49.5˚) increased to a more vertical position. The absolute angle of the lower left leg was significantly larger (p≤0.05) at the highest point of the trot stride (L: 72.4˚ R: 69˚) than when static (L:72.7˚ R:70˚) or at the low point of the trot (L:74.6˚ R:70.7˚), indicating a more forwards placed lower limb. The results indicate the left shoulder and hip were anteriorly rotated in relation to the right during peak vertical movement whilst the lower left leg is consistently further forwards. No significant correlations were observed between the asymmetry of joint angles and LLD (P≥0.05). Although not a variable for this study, rider handedness was recorded and all riders were right hand dominant; lateral dominance of the rider may therefore be an influencing factor. LP The study suggests commonly asymmetrical postures may be adopted by riders; the degree and type of asymmetry appears to be exaggerated during motion. Typically, rotation of the torso occurs with the right side becoming more vertical during peak movement and the right upper arm positioning closer to the torso. The underlying causes require further research however these preliminary results can support recognition and correction of common rider asymmetries during training.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternational Society for Equitation Science Conference - Hooge Mierde, Netherlands
Duration: 26 Oct 201129 Oct 2011
Conference number: 7


ConferenceInternational Society for Equitation Science Conference
Abbreviated titleISES


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