Rider weight, saddle fit articles among most popular in equine publications

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Lateral images of the four riders, from left to right, Light (L), Moderate (M), Heavy (H) and Very Heavy (VH) stationary on Horse 2. The seat of the saddle is of correct length for riders L and M, is short for rider H, who is sitting on the back of the cantle, and is very short for rider VH, whose seat extends beyond the cantle. There is lack of vertical alignment of the shoulder, tuber coxae (‘hip') and heel for riders H and VH.
An image from the paper The influence of rider:horse bodyweight ratio and rider‐horse‐saddle fit on equine gait and behaviour: A pilot study.

Four recent research papers on horses and saddle fit from The Saddle Research Trust are in the top percentage of downloaded papers by readers of Equine Veterinary Journal and Equine Veterinary Education.

Each of the papers has been awarded a certificate from the publishers, Wiley, in recognition of being among the top 10% most downloaded papers in the two-year period between January 2018 and December 2019.

The authors of the work include Saddle Research Trust (SRT) Director Dr Anne Bondi, SRT Honorary Veterinary Advisor Dr Sue Dyson and world-renowned equine researchers, professors Hilary Clayton, Renée van Weeren and Pat Harris, who have all supported the work of the SRT from its beginnings in 2009.

The articles recognised were:

The influence of rider:horse bodyweight ratio and rider‐horse‐saddle fit on equine gait and behaviour: A pilot study, which revealed that heavier riders should ensure they have a horse or pony of the appropriate size and fitness to ensure they can cope with the weight.

Evaluating the suitability of an English saddle for a horse and rider combination, which explains how professionals should evaluate the suitability of an English saddle for a horse and rider combination.

The effects of rider size and saddle fit for horse and rider on forces and pressure distribution under saddles: A pilot study, which highlighted the risks to horses when riders are too heavy, paving the way toward the development of guidelines to help all riders assess if they are the right weight for their mount.

Science-in-brief: Horse, rider, saddlery interactions: Welfare and performance, which summarised the SRT’s 3rd International Conference and workshop in 2018, with the theme Horse, rider, saddlery interactions: Welfare and performance.

All of the papers are free to download.

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