Influence of the rider's posture on the collected horse
In high-level dressage, collection of the horse is crucial, and is created by an interplay between horse and rider. The rider is able to intervene in the degree of collection of trot by tilting his pelvis more posterior and flex his lumbar back for more and active collection.
Seven riders with their grand prix horses were observed on the treadmill. The horses were ridden in free trot with a loose rein, passage and three speeds of collected trot.
Markers on the rider’s upper body and pelvis collected information about the rider’s movements and position in relation to the horse.
In free trot with loose reins the rider’s pelvis was more cranially (anterior) rotated and the lumbar back more extended, the body inclined more forward. During higher speed collected trot and passage the rider’s pelvis is more caudally (posterior) rotated and the rider’s lumbar back is more flexed. In passage, it seemed that the rider uses his seat more actively.
The more forward position of the upper body in combination with the anterior rotated pelvis seems a good choice when the influence of the rider needs to be minimised as in free trot.
In collection, a more active influence of the rider is needed. The main aid for collection is the so-called half-halt. It is created by a deeper seat with more weight on the seat bones by creating more tension in the lower back by rotating the pelvis caudally and flex the lumbar back.
Expert opinion by Science-Equine.com
So far there is still a lot unknown about the effects of the rider on the horse. This article gives us more insight in the influences of the rider on the horse, but more research needs to be done.
More knowledge of the effects of the rider on the horse’s movements can give a better understanding of the aids and perhaps a better way of training the horse.
> From: Byström et al., Hum Mov Sci 41 (2015) 1-8. All rights reserved to Elsevier B.V. Click here for the online summary.