Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 417186
Title Review on biomechanical interaction between horse and rider
Author(s) Cocq, P. de; Weeren, P.R. van
Source In: Proceedings of the 7th International Equitation Science Conference (ISES) on Equitation Science: principles and practices - science at work, Hooge Mierde, The Netherlands, 27-29 October 2011. - - p. 49 - 49.
Event 7th International Equitation Science Conference (ISES) on Equitation Science: pronciples and practices - science at work, Hooge Mierde, The Netherlands, 2011-10-27/2011-10-29
Department(s) Experimental Zoology
WIAS
Publication type Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings
Publication year 2011
Abstract The aim of this review is to provide an overview of possibilities to study the biomechanics of the interaction between horse and rider and the outcomes so far. To control speed and direction of a horse, several interfaces between horse and rider can be employed. Ridden horses are normally equipped with a bridle and a saddle, which serve as the main transmitters of signals from the rider. The tack often is connected to both horse and rider and therefore is suitable to incorporate measuring devices. The most commonly used tools in this respect are strain gauges. Strain gauges can be used to assess forces on bits, reins, and stirrups. Furthermore, flat normal force sensors are incorporated in pads which can be placed underneath the saddle, underneath blankets or even between the horse and the rider’s legs. The instrumented tack can not only be used to study the effect of tack itself, but can also be used to study the interaction between rider and horse. Research on the effect of the bridle has initially focused on the bit. As a large part of the bit is hidden from view, fluoroscopic techniques have been used to evaluate the position and action of several bits. A next step was to objectify the force that riders apply to the reins. In several studies force sensors have been attached in-between bit and reins to measure rein forces. The research using saddle measuring devices has primarily focused on the effects of saddle pads and saddle fit, but the technique, in combination with kinematic measurements, can also be used to evaluate the biomechanical interaction between horse and rider. Riders have a direct and indirect biomechanical effect on the horse through their body mass and through the aids with which they actively try to influence locomotion. The main mechanical effect of riders on the horse is the gravitational force elicited by their mass. The distribution of this weight on the horse is also an important factor. The effect of the rider on the horse is further modulated by the riding technique of the rider and, associated with this, the level of riding. All these aspects are topics of studies on the biomechanical interaction between horse and rider. The studies performed on the biomechanical interaction between horse and rider have yielded interesting results, partly confirming, partly negating long-held equestrian beliefs. The outcomes of this type of research may further our understanding of the impact of a variety of equestrian practices on equine welfare and help in the discussions on ethics and associated regulatory affairs.
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