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Research article2019Peer reviewed

Intersegmental strategies in frontal plane in moderately-skilled riders analyzed in ridden and un-mounted situations

Engell, M. T.; Bystrom, A.; Hernlund, E.; Bergh, A.; Clayton, H.; Roepstorff, L.; Egenvall, A.


The symmetry of the rider is highly relevant, and in the equestrian community it is generally thought that a symmetrical rider has a better possibility to influence the horse in an optimal way. The aim of the study was to analyse and compare frontal plane kinematics of the core body segments in ten riders while riding and while rocking a balance chair from side-to-side. It was hypothesized that the riders were asymmetrical in relation to their intersegmental strategies when comparing between left and right directions and that individual riders would display the same postural strategies when riding and when rocking the balance chair. Ten moderately-skilled riders wore a full-body marker set that was tracked by a motion capture system as they rocked a balance chair from side to side. Inertial measurement units attached to the head, trunk and pelvis were used to measure the segmental movements while riding in left and right directions. Roll rotation data for head, trunk and pelvis were averaged over available strides/cycles. Results from mixed models showed that the riders were asymmetric when comparing riding in left vs right directions, for example the trunk was rotated 19 degrees to the right on the right circle and 14 degrees to the left on the left circle, on average. Riders adopted the same asymmetrical posture whether they were riding in the left or right direction on straight lines, circles or leg yielding. A significant relationship was found between postural asymmetries when riding and when rocking the balance chair, one degree of pelvis or head roll asymmetry on the chair predicted 2.4 (SE 0.9) degrees of asymmetry while riding. Future studies may investigate the value of seated, off-horse postural training for improving rider symmetry and thereby equestrian performance.


Posture; Pelvic symmetry; Motor control; Riding

Published in

Human Movement Science
2019, Volume: 66, pages: 511-520 Publisher: ELSEVIER