Elite riders, many of whom have competed at Hartpury’s major equestrian competitions, volunteered to take part in the research. The project was completed using the state-of-the-art facilities within Hartpury’s Margaret Giffen Centre for Rider Performance, which enable biomechanical and physiological studies of both horse and rider.
Mean, minimum and maximum pelvic tilt, and range of motion (ROM) was measured as the pitch rotation of a rigid body formed by markers placed on the rider’s left/right anterior and posterior superior iliac spines and sacrum, averaged over six time-normalised strides. Riders were assessed using optical motion capture on a riding simulator at halt and in walk, trot, and left and right canter.
Celeste continues: “When we compared pelvic posture at halt between riders competing at British Dressage Prelim-Novice, British Dressage Medium-Advanced and those competing at the FEI levels, we were surprised.”