Did you know that many riders suffer from back pain?


We believe in science based development. We are sharing different scientific studies that prove the importance of a good seat. Since the communication between rider and horse is predominately embodied and depending of the quality of the rider’s seat.

equestrian in the saddle

Do you sometimes feel pain in your body during or after riding? On one hand it is well-known that riding is a demanding sport for rider’s body. On the other hand, riding has also been reported to have a positive effect on pre-existence back pain. The aim of a German study was to evaluate to what degree horseback riders suffer from back pain and whether there is an association between this parameter and the intensity of horseback riding. Results showed that the incidence of back pain was 72.5 %. Overall 58.7 % reported to have pain in the lower back (ländrygg). No difference between back pain and riding discipline, gender or riding level could be found. 


Despite the fact that a large fraction of dressage riders claimed to have problems in the lower back areas, 61.6 % of dressage riders reported an improvement of their back pain when riding.


How was the study performed?

508 horseback riders competing in either dressage, showjumping or vaulting were interviewed using a questionnaire. The intensity with which riding was performed and the localisation and intensity of back pain was assessed using a VAS (a tool used to help a person rate the intensity of for instance pain).



The conclusion.

It was that compared to the general population, a high incidence of back pain is found among riders. A significant correlation between the intensity of riding or the riding discipline and frequency or severity of back pain could not be found. For riders with pre-existent back pain the pace “walk” seems to have a positive influence on pain intensity.

This study highlights that if we want to last for a long time in equestrian sport, we need to prevent back pain for instance through training for instance of the core- and back muzzles. The riders pain will most likely have a negative effect on the interaction with the horse and thus hinder rider and horse to perform optimally together.

Here you will find summaries of scientific articles that explains more.




Kraft, C. N., Urban, N., Ilg, A., Wallny, T., Scharfstädt, A., Jäger, M., & Pennekamp, 460 P. H. (2009). Influence of the riding discipline and riding intensity on the incidence of 461 back pain in competitive horseback riders. Sportverletzung Sportschaden: Organ der 462 Gesellschaft fur Orthopadisch-Traumatologische Sportmedizin, 21(1), 29-33. 463 41.