Full-text resources of PSJD and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


Preferences help
enabled [disable] Abstract
Number of results
2014 | 42 | 1 | 113-125

Article title

Posture, Flexibility and Grip Strength in Horse Riders


Title variants

Languages of publication



Since the ability to train the horse to be ambidextrous is considered highly desirable, rider asymmetry is recognized as a negative trait. Acquired postural and functional asymmetry can originate from numerous anatomical regions, so it is difficult to suggest if any is developed due to riding. The aim of this study was therefore to assess symmetry of posture, strength and flexibility in a large population of riders and to determine whether typical traits exist due to riding. 127 right handed riders from the UK and USA were categorized according to years riding (in 20 year increments) and their competition level (using affiliated test levels). Leg length, grip strength and spinal posture were measured and recorded by a physiotherapist. Standing and sitting posture and trunk flexibility were measured with 3-D motion capture technology. Right-left differences were explored in relation to years riding and rider competitive experience. Significant anatomical asymmetry was found for the difference in standing acromion process height for a competition level (-0.07±1.50 cm Intro/Prelim; 0.02±1.31 cm Novice; 0.43±1.27 cm Elementary+; p=0.048) and for sitting iliac crest height for years riding (-0.23±1.36 cm Intro/Prelim; 0.01±1.50 cm Novice; 0.86±0.41 cm Elementary+; p=0.021). For functional asymmetry, a significant interaction was found for lateral bending ROM for years riding x competition level (p=0.047). The demands on dressage riders competing at higher levels may predispose these riders to a higher risk of developing asymmetry and potentially chronic back pain rather than improving their symmetry










Physical description


1 - 10 - 2014
10 - 10 - 2014


  • Centre for Applied Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK
  • Craven College, Skipton, UK
  • Personal Best, Yorks, UK
  • Myerscough College, Bilsborrow, UK
  • Centre for Applied Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK
  • Sport Horse Science, LC, MI, USA


  • Al-Eisa E, Egan D, Deluzio K, Wassersug R. Effects of pelvic skeletal asymmetry on trunk movement. Three dimensional analysis in healthy individuals versus patients with mechanical low back pain. Spine, 2006; 31(3): 71-79
  • Anderson MK, Hall SJ, Martin M. Foundations of Athletic Training: Prevention, Assessment and Treatment. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins. 3rd Edition. United States of America; 2005
  • Annett M. The binomial distribution of right, mixed and left handedness. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1967; 19(4): 327-333[Crossref]
  • Auty I. The BHS manual of equitation. Shrewsbury: Kenilworth Press; 2007
  • Bagesteiro LB, Sainburg RL. Handedness: Dominant arm advantages in control of limb dynamics. J Neurophysiol, 2002; 88: 2408-2421[Crossref][PubMed]
  • Beattie P, Isaacson K, Riddle DL, Rothstein JM. Validity of derived measurements of leg-length differences obtained by use of a tape measure. Phys Ther, 1990; 70(3): 150-157[PubMed]
  • Bussey MD. Does the demand for asymmetric functional lower body postures in lateral sports relate to structural asymmetry of the pelvis? J Sci Med Sport, 2010; 13: 360-364[PubMed][Crossref]
  • Byström A, Rhodin M, von Peinen K, Weishaupt M, Roepstorff L. Basic kinematics of saddle and rider in high-level dressage horses trotting on the treadmill. Equine Vet J, 2009; 41(3): 280-284[WoS][Crossref]
  • Cacciatore TW, Horak FB, Henry SM. Improvement in automatic postural coordination following Alexander technique lessons in a person with low back pain. Phys Ther, 2005; 85: 565-578
  • de Cocq P, Prinsen H, Springer NC, van Weeren PR, Schreuder M, Muller M, van Leeuwen JL. The effect of rising and sitting trot on back movement and head-neck posture of the horse. Equine Vet J, 2009; 41(5): 423-427 de Cocq P, Mariken Duncker A, Clayton HM, Bobbert MF, Muller M, Van Leeuwen JL. Vertical forces on the horse’s back in sitting and rising trot. J Biomech, 2010; 43: 627-631[Crossref]
  • Gibbons P, Dumper C, Gosling C. Inter-examiner and intra-examiner agreement for assessing simulated leg length inequality using palpation and observation during a standing assessment. J Osteopathic Med, 2002; 5(2): 53-58[Crossref]
  • Gnat R, Saulicz E. Induced static asymmetry of the pelvis is associated with functional asymmetry of the lumbo-pelvo-hip complex. J Manip Physiol Ther, 2008; 31: 3: 204-211[Crossref][WoS]
  • Gomez TT. Symmetry of lumbar rotation and lateral flexion range of motion and isometric strength in subjects with and without low back pain. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 1994; 19(1): 42-48[Crossref][PubMed]
  • Gurney B. Leg length discrepancy. Gait Posture, 2002; 15: 195-206[PubMed][Crossref]
  • Hanten WP, Chen W-Y, Austin AA, Brooks RE, Carter HC, Law CA. Maximum grip strength in normal subjects from 20 to 64 years of age. J Hand Ther, 1999; 12: 193-200
  • Jones SL, Henry SM, Raasch CC, Hitt JR, Bunn JY. Individuals with non-specific low back pain in an active episode demonstrate temporally altered torque responses and direction specific enhanced muscle activity following unexpected balance perturbations. Exp Brain Res, 2012; 221(4): 413-426[WoS][Crossref]
  • Kallman DA, Plato CC, Tobin JD. The role of muscle loss in the age-related decline of grip strength: Crosssectional and longitudinal perspectives. J Gerontology, 1990; 45: 3: M82-88[Crossref]
  • Kellis E, Katis A. Biomechanical characteristics and determinants of instep soccer kick. J Sports Sci Med, 2007; 6: 154-165[PubMed]
  • Kendall FP, McCreary EK, Provance PG, Rodgers MM, Romani WA. Muscles testing and function with posture and pain. 5th Edition. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. United States of America; 2005
  • Kraft CN, Urban N, Ilg A, Wallny T, Scharfstädt A, Jäger M, Pennekamp PH. Influence of the riding discipline and riding intensity on the incidence of back pain in competitive horseback riders. Sportverletz Sportschaden, 2007; 21(1): 29-33[Crossref][PubMed][WoS]
  • Kraft CN, Pennekamp PH, Becker U, Young M, Diedrich O, Lüring C, von Falkenhausen M. Magnetic resonance imaging findings of the lumbar spine in elite horseback riders: correlations with back pain, body mass index, trunk/leg-length coefficient, and riding discipline. Am J Sports Med, 2009; 37(11): 2205-2213[WoS][Crossref]
  • Kuhnke S, Dumbell L, Gauly M, Johnson JL, McDonald K, von Borstel UK. A comparison of rein tension of the rider’s dominant and non-dominant hand and the influence of the horse’s laterality. Comp Ex Phys, 2010; 7(2): 57-63
  • Licka T, Kapaun M, Peham C. Influence of rider on lameness in trotting horses. Equine Vet J, 2004; 36(8): 734-736[PubMed]
  • Nicolay CW, Walker AL. Grip strength and endurance: Influences of anthropometric variation, hand dominance, and gender. Int J Ind Ergonom, 2005; 35: 605-618[Crossref]
  • Norris CM, Berry S. Occurrence of common lumbar posture types in the student sporting population: An initial investigation. Sport Ex Inj, 1998; 4: 15-18
  • Peham C, Licka T, Kapaun M, Scheidl M. A new method to quantify harmony of the horse-rider system in dressage. Sports Eng, 2001; 4: 95-101[Crossref]
  • Peham C, Licka T, Schobesberger H, Meschan E. Influence of the rider on the variability of the equine gait. Hum Movement Sci, 2004; 23: 663-671[Crossref]
  • Petrone MR, Guinn J, Reddin A, Sutlive TG, Flynn TW, Garber MP. The accuracy of the Palpation Meter (PALM) for measuring pelvic crest height difference and leg length discrepancy. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 2003; 33: 319-325[Crossref][PubMed]
  • Quinn S, Bird S. Influence of saddle type upon the incidence of lower back pain in equestrian riders. Brit J Sports Med, 1996; 30: 140-144[Crossref]
  • Robertson DG, Dowling JJ. Design and responses of Butterworth and critically damped digital filters. J Electromyogr Kines, 2003; 13(6): 569-73[Crossref]
  • Roepstorff L, Egenvall A, Rhodin M, Byström A, Johnston C, van Weeren PR, Weishaupt M. Kinetics and kinematics of the horse comparing left and right rising trot. Equine Vet J, 2009; 41(3): 292-296[PubMed][Crossref][WoS]
  • Roussouly P, Gollogly S, Berthonnaud E, Dimnet J. Classification of the normal variation in the sagittal alignment of the human lumbar spine and pelvis in the standing position. Spine, 2005; 30: 346-353[PubMed][Crossref]
  • Sabharwal S, Kumar A. Methods of assessing leg length discrepancy. Clin Orthop Relat R, 2008; 466(12): 2910-2922
  • Sadhegi H, Allard P, Prince F, Labelle H. Symmetry and limb dominance in able-bodied gait: a review. Gait Posture, 2000; 12: 34-45[Crossref]
  • Sahrmann SA. Movement impairment syndrome of the lumbar spine. In: Diagnosis and treatment of movement impairment syndrome. Ed: K White. Mosby Inc., St Louis, Missouri. 2002; 51-64
  • Smith A, O’Sullivan P, Straker L. Classification of sagittal thoraco-lumbar-pelvic alignment of the adolescent spine in standing and its relationship to low back pain. Spine, 2008; 33(19): 2101-2107[PubMed][WoS][Crossref]
  • Symes D, Ellis R. A preliminary study into rider asymmetry within equitation. Vet J, 2009; 181(1): 34-37[Crossref][PubMed][WoS]
  • Terada K, Clayton HM, Kato K. Stabilization of wrist position during horseback riding at trot. Equine Comp Ex Phys, 2006; 3(4): 179-184
  • Von Peinen K, Wiestner T, Bogisch S, Roepstorff L, Van Weeren PR, Weishaupt MA. Relationship between the forces acting on the horse's back and the movements of rider and horse while walking on a treadmill. Equine vet J, 2010; 41: 285-291[WoS]
  • Yielder P, Gutnik B, Kobrin V, Hudson G. A possible anatomical and biomechanical explanation of the 10% rule used in the clinical assessment of prehensile hand movements and handed dominance. J Electromyogr Kines, 2009; 19: e472-e480
  • Young RS, Andrew PD, Cummings GS. Effect of simulating leg length inequality on pelvic torsion and trunk mobility. Gait Posture, 2000; 11: 217-223 [PubMed][Crossref]

Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.