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Rider Biomechanics: Evaluation of seat position

Q4E Case Study 37 – Rider Biomechanics: Evaluation of seat position

Proposed subject useage

Sports Science
(A/AS level / Degree Yr 1/2)



Asymmetry is a common problem seen throughout all levels of riders (Eckardt and Witte, 2016). It can be seen that riders and horses show pelvic asymmetries on the same side in a seated position (Browne and Cunliffe, 2014).

A group of riding school clients presented for a Rider Biomechanics session with the objective to evaluation their position in light seat, in particular looking at the amount of movement in the pelvis and how this influenced their progression.



13 riders were fitted with reflective markers on the base of the scapula, point of the ilium and the centre of the cantle. Riders were recorded for five strides of walk in light seat on the mechanical horse using the Quintic Biomechanics video software recording at 300 hz to detect the reflective markers.

Data was analysed using the intelligent tracking feature of Quintic to measure left (LROM) and right (RROM) range of motion in the ilium and distance between the shoulder and pelvis.

Quintic Software is able to smooth each variable independently in the X and Y axis to ensure that ‘Optimum’ smoothing occurs and data is not over or under smoothed.



Data / Statistical Analysis

There was a significant difference for experienced riders for left and right ilium, LROM = 12 (±4.23) degrees and RROM = 10 (±2.76) degrees (p=0.01). However, LROM = 12 (±4.82) degrees and RROM = 11 (±2.71) degrees in novice riders, which showed no significant difference (p=0.33).




After analysis each individual rider was able to receive feedback to identify any positional faults. A common theme that was identified is that the more novice riders showed increase ROM and lacked balance when in light seat, having an awareness of this supported riders perception of their position and allowed them to set targets for their future riding lessons.

Another area identified was that some rider collapsed through one side, this was identified as there was a reduced distance between the scapula and the ilium. Having an awareness of this supported riders to progress and make adjustments.



These findings show that both novice and experienced riders have a greater ROM through the left ilium. This shows that leisure riders are more likely to have increased movement through the left side during light seat position. Overall the riders found this tool exceptionally useful to show an awareness of their current position and to discuss the implications this may have on their horses.



Browne, L., Cunliffe, C. (2014) ‘An Investigation of Relationships Between Horse and Rider Pelvis Asymmetry.’ Equine Veterinary Journal, 46 (46) Pps. 37

Eckardt, F., Witte, K. (2016) ‘Kinematic Analysis of the Rider According to Different Skill Levels in Sitting Trot and Canter.’ Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 39 Pps. 51 – 57

Rider Biomechanics: Evaluation of seat position | Quintic Sports