There has been a growing concern within the equine industry that as the human population gets larger, horses are increasingly being subjected to excessive loading. The problem that we currently face however, is a lack of objective evidence that can provide guidelines for appropriate size ratios of horses and riders. A recent study set out to investigate the effects of rider size on the horse in an attempt to move closer to solving this complex problem. The multi-disciplinary study took place at World Horse Welfare’s Norfolk headquarters and represented an extraordinary level of collaboration and cooperation from across many sectors of the UK equine industry.
Part 1 of this article, published in October’s edition of the SRT Newsletter, discussed the influence of rider size and saddle fit on equine gait and behaviour. In Part 2 the focus is on the riders’ positions, the effect of rider size and the saddle fit to both horse and rider.