Female body image (BI) has been investigated in many sports yet, in female-dominated equestrianism, there is a paucity of BI research. This study aimed to identify self-perceptions of BI, rider perceptions of judge and coach bias, relationships between BI and self-consciousness and effect of breast size. A 4-part, 27 question survey (GoogleForms™) was completed by female equestrians (n=493). The second smallest BI was considered ideal for equestrianism (χ2=352.751, P<0.001) regardless of age, own BI or level of riding commitment. There was a perception judges favour riders with smaller frames (χ2=54.2111, P<0.001) and an association between riders with a larger BI feeling self-conscious when riding (χ2 =87.514, P<0.001). More respondents perceived the ideal equestrian BI to be smaller than theirs (Median= -1.5, W=7777.00, P<0.001) and an association between those dissatisfied with their BI and self-consciousness when riding was seen (χ2=83.649, P<0.001). Perception of the ideal equestrian frame is smaller than many riders' own BI, and a larger BI perception negatively impacts self-confidence, potentially hindering performance and participation. Female riders with a larger frame feel they are perceived negatively by judges and further study is indicated to investigate the extent of this potential bias on subjective judging in equestrian disciplines.
- Body appreciation
- Horse riding