Vertical forces on the horse's back in sitting and rising trot

P. de Cocq, A.M. Duncker, H.M. Clayton, M.F. Bobbert, M. Muller, J.L. van Leeuwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


In equestrian sports, it is generally assumed that rising and sitting trot load the horse's back differently. The objective of this study was to quantify the load on the horse's back in these riding techniques. Kinematic data of 13 riders were collected in rising and sitting trot. The time-history of the position of the rider's centre of mass (CoM) was calculated, and differentiated twice to obtain the acceleration of the CoM. The reaction force between the rider and the horse's back was calculated from the acceleration. Forces were divided by the body weight of the rider to obtain dimensionless forces. As expected, the computed average vertical force did not differ between riding techniques and was not significantly different from the body weight of the riders. At trot, two force peaks were present during one stride cycle. Both peaks in rising trot were significantly lower compared to sitting trot (peak 1: 2.54±0.30 versus 2.92±0.29; p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-631
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • movements
  • walking
  • rider
  • loads


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