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Forskningsartikel - Refereegranskat, 2023

Evaluating Overall Performance in High-Level Dressage Horse-Rider Combinations by Comparing Measurements from Inertial Sensors with General Impression Scores Awarded by Judges

Hobbs, Sarah Jane; Braganca, Filipe Manuel Serra; Rhodin, Marie; Hernlund, Elin; Peterson, Mick; Clayton, Hilary M. M.


Simple Summary Dressage is an Olympic equestrian sport in which scores are awarded primarily for the technical correctness of a horse's performance. This study focuses on a single score awarded after the completion of a performance called the general impression score that is based on the gaits of the horse, the position of the rider, the effectiveness of the rider's aids, and the harmony between the horse and rider. Twenty dressage horses and their riders performed a pattern from which walk, trot and canter, and transitions from extended to collected trots were analyzed based on data from inertial measurement units that measured three-dimensional accelerations and rotations of the horse's trunk, the rider's pelvis, and the rider's trunk. The selected movements were observed on video and scored by two or three high-ranking dressage judges. The judged scores were then compared with the data describing the movements of the horse's trunk, the rider's pelvis, and the rider's trunk. The score for a horse's gaits was most heavily influenced by stride frequency, with a slower frequency being favored. The judges' scores for posture, effectiveness of aids, and harmony with the horse were most strongly influenced by the asymmetries in a rider's trunk movements, such that higher scores were associated with fewer rider asymmetries. In the sport of dressage, one or more judges score the combined performance of a horse and rider with an emphasis on the technical correctness of the movements performed. At the end of the test, a single score is awarded for the 'general impression', which considers the overall performance of the horse and rider as a team. This study explored original measures that contributed to the general impression score in a group of 20 horse-rider combinations. Horses and riders were equipped with inertial measurement units (200 Hz) to represent the angular motion of a horse's back and the motions of a rider's pelvis and trunk. Each combination performed a standard dressage test that was recorded to video. Sections of the video were identified for straight-line movements. The videos were analyzed by two or three judges. Four components were scored separately: gaits of the horse, rider posture, effectiveness of aids, and harmony with the horse. The main contributor to the score for gaits was stride frequency (R = -0.252, p = 0.015), with a slower frequency being preferred. Higher rider component scores were associated with more symmetrical transverse-plane trunk motion, indicating that this original measure is the most useful predictor of rider performance.


equestrian sport; performance; posture; balance; rider; dressage

Publicerad i

2023, Volym: 13, nummer: 15, artikelnummer: 2496
Utgivare: MDPI