S-M Brooks


Sarah-May Brooks. Montreat College, Montreat, NC.

BACKGROUND: The topic being investigated is how different body positions on the horse will affect various physiological aspects of the body such as heart rate and blood oxygen levels. The rider’s heart rate and blood oxygen levels will increase and decrease based on how hard the rider is working and how much the rider is breathing. The study is being conducted to help equestrians find an ideal position so they can ride more efficiently. METHODS: Advanced horseback riders who have been riding more than 5 years will be asked to ride a few laps of the arena at a trot in various positions including two point, posting trot and sitting trot. Each rider’s heart rate and blood oxygen levels will be taken before and during their ride. To monitor the oxygen levels and heart rate while riding the rider will wear a pulse oximeter on their thumb. Each rider will ride the horse that they are most comfortable with. Changes in heart rate and pulse oxygen from beginning to the end of the ride will be compared for each position using ANOVA testing on Microsoft Excel. EXPECTED RESULTS: It is expected that the best position for the rider would be the posting trot position, a slight arch at the lower back with shoulders open and back and moving up and out of the saddle for every other stride coming up when the horses front leg is on the outside. Posting trot allows the rider to use their body to move the horse without putting a lot of strain on their body. Sitting trot works the body but not in the same way as posting trot. It is believed that sitting trot will keep constant heart rate and oxygen levels, neither will drop or have a big jump. Posting trot will increase the heart rate and keep the oxygen levels the same. In conclusion it is believed that the posting trot with a slight arch at the lower back with their shoulders open is the best position for the rider to effectively use their body to ride the horse and get the most physical fitness out of their ride.

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