Did you know that there is a relation between ridden asymmetry and performance on a balance chair?


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.

Mari Zetterqvist Blokhuis

The symmetry of the rider is highly relevant since a symmetrical rider has a better possibility to influence the horse in an optimal way. Moreover, the rider’s pelvis has been identified as the most important part of the rider’s seat since it is central in the communication between rider and horse. Is there a relation between a rider’s asymmetry in unmounted and ridden situations?

The aim of a Swedish study.

It was to analyze frontal-plane kinematics of the rider’s head, trunk and pelvis when riding on straight lines, circles and leg yields in both left and right directions. The data were compared with the unmounted situation while the rider was rocking a balance chair from side to side.

Results showed that there was a correlation found between ridden asymmetry and performance on a balance chair. Moreover, all riders in this study were asymmetric when comparing riding in right vs left directions and they adopted the same asymmetrical posture weather they were riding in the left or right direction or on straight lines, circles or leg yielding.

How was the study performed?

Ten moderate skilled riders wore a full body marker set that was tracked by a motion capture system as they rocked a balance chair from side to side by placing more weight alternately on their left and right seat bones. Kinematic data was collected using in 3D using eight motion capture cameras. Nine of the ten riders also rode one horse and one additional rider rode a different horse. All riders were instructed to ride the same program. For the ridden data collection, the riders wore kinematic markers plus inertial measurement units attached to the rider’s head (top of helmet), trunk and pelvis.

Riders used the same pattern when sitting on a chair as riding on a horse. This suggests that it is not the horse that causes the rider to be asymmetrical. If the rider is asymmetric, it is likely that it is more difficult for the horse to perform ridden exercises like for instance riding on a circle or riding leg yield. Thus, it is suggested that there may be value in performing a specific off-horse training program individually tailored to make riders more symmetrical.

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


M.T. Engell, A. Byström, E. Hernlund, A. Berg, H. Clayton, L. Roepstorff and A. Egenvall. Intersegmental strategies in frontal plane in moderately-skilled riders analysed in ridden and un-mounted situations. Human Science, August 13, volume 66: pages 511-520. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.humov.2019.05.021