Rider Analysis – for those who want to know more.

The key elements of the rider’s position are rhythm, balance and symmetry.

We at Rider’s Position have identified three key elements for a good position. As a rider, you need to manage all three to be able to ride your horse so that he or she works properly and builds the muscles needed for the horse to be sustainable.


Firstly, you need to be able to ride at a regular and steady rhythm. You need to have the ability to take the horse’s rhythm into your body – much like a ballroom dance. If anyone is doing that these days. I have the feeling that we often forget the importance of rhythm, even though it is the first step in the training scale. A couple of good exercises that train the rider’s rhythm in trot can be found here: https://ridersposition.se/inspiration/


The second foundation stone is balance. It is not very easy to keep your balance on a living animal that is in constant motion. You need strong core muscles and sufficient leg strength to balance your body so that you can be steady enough in the horse’s forward movements. If you have balance problems, it is difficult for your horse to move in a balanced way. Balance and rhythm are related in that it is impossible to ride at an even rhythm if you are unbalanced. And without a steady rhythm, you can’t find a good balance either.


The third foundation stone is symmetry or equality. Even though we all have one side that is stronger than the other, as a rider you need to work to be reasonably even in the right and left side. Otherwise, you cannot load the horse equally on both sides and give equal aids to the horse from both the right and left sides. This makes it difficult for the horse to work in a good balance.


All three pillars are therefore dependent on each other. The unique thing about Rider Analysis is that the app measures how you move while riding. It makes you aware of what you do well and which parts of the seat you need to improve. For myself, I have a good sense of rhythm but need to work on becoming more stable in my seat.


How riders move in the saddle.

While riding, the horse sets both itself and the rider in motion by transferring the force from the ground through the horse’s legs to the horse’s body and through the saddle to the rider. The rider’s pelvis is in direct contact with the saddle, and the pelvis allows the rider to follow the horse’s movements.


In trot, the rider moves in three dimensions: up and down, back and forth and side to side. Therefore, the rider must have sufficient mobility in the pelvis, hips and lower back to follow the horse’s movements without disturbing the horse. In addition, the rider must be able to stabilize their position with a solid core. The rider also needs to have his or her legs firmly towards the horse and distribute the weight between the seat and the support in the stirrup.


With Rider Analysis we measure the rider’s movement up and down and back and forth in sitting and rising trot. This is the feedback you get as a rider:


  • Are you riding at a regular rhythm?
  • How much force are you bringing down on your horse’s back?
  • Are you following your horse’s movements with your pelvis and hips? Or do you “bounce” in the saddle?
  • Are you stable enough in your core and legs to balance your body on the horse’s forward and backward movements?
  • How regular are your movements up and down and back and forth?


Do you want to know the answer to these questions?


The first step to a better position and optimal interaction is to become aware of how you move in the saddle while riding. With the Rider Analysis you also get tips and exercises on how to improve your position.



More about the rider’s up and down movements and how to interpret the results of the analysis.

At a trot, the horse’s back rises and falls at a steady pace. For the rider, this means that the horse’s back moves forward-upward and forward-downward, like a sine wave. There is a constant interaction between the horse accelerating and decelerating. Through his weight and the horse’s acceleration, the rider comes down with a lot of force in the saddle, especially in the stance phase. In the Rider’s Positions system, the force is registered in Newton (N). In terms of kilograms, the rider comes down with between 150 and 350 kilograms in each step in trot, which is challenging for both the horse’s and the rider’s back. It is therefore important that the rider is relaxed and flexible in their hips and can “swing with the horse”, i.e. absorb the horse’s movements with their pelvis, hips and lower back. The rider also needs to have good balance so that the up and down movements are constant (smooth), allowing the horse to work in balance. This can be seen in our measurement by whether the red curves are even or different in height.



More about the rider’s back and forth movements and how to interpret the results of the analysis.


As the horse alternately accelerates and decelerates, the rider’s pelvis and hips move back and forth. The movement of the pelvis is caused by the constant “tightening and relaxing” of the abdominal and lumbar muscles. These muscles need to be slightly tense to provide a firm seat but at the same time elastic so that the rider can “rock” back and forth for a soft touch in the saddle. The rider needs to have strong core muscles and sufficient leg strength to be able to balance his body and be sufficiently steady in the horse’s forward movements. In our system, the rider’s movements back and forth are shown by a gray curve. It should ideally move evenly around and equally above and below the 0 line. This shows that the rider is stable enough to smoothly follow the horse’s movement back and forth. Most riders are slightly behind the horse’s forward movement because there is so much force when the horse accelerates that it is difficult to keep up.



How to interpret the result from the Rider Analysis (gray curve)

1) The rider gets ahead of the horse’s movements. This is shown by the fact that the gray curves go more upwards than downwards. Does not happen very often.

2) The rider comes after the horse’s movements. This is indicated by the gray curves going more down than up. It is quite common that the rider is a bit behind.

3) The rider’s movements back and forth are uneven. This is indicated by the unevenness of the gray curve.



Mari Zetterqvist Blokhuis