Rider biomechanics, weight and road riding risks on conference agenda

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Sofia Forino will discuss the findings of her study on the self-perception of body image in female riders at the Saddle Research Trust’s International Conference.
Sofia Forino will discuss the findings of her study on the self-perception of body image in female riders at the Saddle Research Trust’s International Conference. © SRT

Body image and road riding risks are among the hot topics that will be raised at this weekend’s Saddle Research Trust 4th International Conference.

Among other topics, the virtual conference “Welfare and Performance of the Ridden Horse: The Future” will explore riders’ self-perception of body image and road-associated risks for riders on Saturday, December 11.

Sofia Forino, a lecturer and post-graduate student at the University Centre Sparsholt, Hampshire, will discuss the findings of her study on the self-perception of body image in female riders. This study aimed to identify self-perceptions of body image in female equestrians, identify rider perceptions of judge and coach body image bias, highlight relationships between female equestrian body image and self-consciousness, explore any effect of breast size, and the effect this has on participation and performance success.

Dr Céleste Wilkins, researcher and lecturer in biomechanics at Hartpury University, will speak about dynamic technique analysis of dressage riders, explaining her research in analysing how riders move, how they achieve harmony, and rider trunk-pelvis strategies.

Dr Dee Pollard, research analyst at the British Horse Society, will review the results of a recent study covering current figures of road incidents involving horses, perceptions of road-associated risk in equestrians, attitudes to road safety and ways in which real or perceived risk could be mitigated.

The topics will bring to the fore some of the latest news and views within the equestrian industry, with Olympic dressage rider Richard Davison wrapping up the presentations with his own reflections at the end of the discussions.

Saddle Research Trust Director Anne Bondi said registrations had been received from around the world, from Australia, Canada and the US to New Zealand, Russia and Western Europe.

“Our fourth conference is going to be truly international in terms of both speakers and delegates,” she said.

“We are also very excited to see the exceptional quality of the presentations, which will provide plenty of food for thought for delegates on the important topic of welfare and performance.”

Vehicles have gotten faster but the horse has stayed the same speed. Dr Dee Pollard will explore equestrian road safety in current times.
Vehicles have gotten faster but the horse has stayed the same speed. Dr Dee Pollard will explore equestrian road safety in current times. © SRT

The conference has been split into four sessions – Applying the science, Through the lens, The horse as a stakeholder, and Hot topics – each closing with an interactive Q&A. The event is also eligible for CPD points for delegates whose professional bodies are registered with the SRT.

The conference replay will be available for a two-week period over Christmas – those who register for the live event will receive free access.

» Book tickets for the conference on December 11

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