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Title: An investigation into the importance of off-horse exercise on riding position of horse riders
Author: Prentice, Jaana A. A.
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2016
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In equestrian science, anecdotal evidence suggests that certain fitness parameters are beneficial for riding position. Studies have investigated the demands of riding; however, there is no objective data linking the general fitness of riders to its effects on riding position. This research set out to investigate the perceived importance of off-horse exercise on riding position, the impact that certain fitness parameters have and the effectiveness of a specifically tailored exercise programme. Nearly 90% of respondents stated they believed off-horse exercise to impact on their riding position, with dressage, leisure and older riders to be most likely to participate. The average fitness of riders including aerobic capacity, core stability, balance, flexibility and posture was then researched regarding the effect these might have on riding position. In a cross sectional study the relationship with riding position and pressure distribution, looking at the laterality of the seat, were explored. With the exception of cardiovascular fitness these were then tested for transferability of skill in an intervention trial. A mechanical horse and video analysis were used for analysis and the TekScan pressure mat recorded pressure distribution. Aerobic capacity was found to have no impact on riding position in this study and hip flexibility was assumed to have the greatest impact on riding position. After the intervention, the range of motion of the angles was decreased suggesting a more stable and quiet seat due to increased core stability. In line with other research asymmetries in the rider were found in pressure distribution, which were significantly decreased post intervention (trot and canter). No improvements in medio-lateral symmetry were found. Transferability of skill in riding position can be explained with the high similarity of standing posture and riding position. Overall horse rider specific training regimes can be recommended for improvement of riding position, but combination with riding instruction is suggested.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RC1200 Sports Medicine