Assessing the rider's seat and horse's behavior: difficulties and perspectives

H.J. Blokhuis, A. Aronsson, K. Hartmann, C.G. van Reenen, L. Keeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


correct seat and position are the basis for a good performance in horseback riding. This study aimed to measure deviations from the correct seat, test a seat improvement program (dismounted exercises), and investigate whether horse behavior was affected by the rider's seat. Five experienced trainers defined 16 seat deviations and scored the occurrence in 20 riders in a dressage test. Half the riders then carried out an individual training program; after 9 weeks, riders were again scored. The study took no video or heart-rate recordings of horses and riders. Panel members did not agree on the deviations in the rider's seat; the study detected no differences¿with the exception of improvement of backward-tilted pelvis¿between the groups. Horse behavior, classified as ¿evasive,¿ increased; horse heart rate decreased in the experimental group. Heart rates of riders in both groups decreased. Seven of 9 riders in the experimental group had the impression that the exercises improved their riding performance. There is a clear need to develop a robust system that allows trainers to objectively evaluate the rider's seat
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-203
JournalJournal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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