Static assessment and grouping of riders by competition level is prevalent in equestrian coaching practice and research. This study explored sagittal pelvic tilt in 35 competitive dressage riders to analyse the relationship between static and dynamic postures and assess the interaction of competition level. Riders were assessed using optical motion capture on a riding simulator at halt and in walk, trot, and left and right canter. Mean, minimum and maximum pelvic tilt, and range of motion (ROM) was measured as the pitch rotation of a rigid body formed by markers placed on the rider’s left/right anterior and posterior superior iliac spines and sacrum, averaged over six time-normalised strides. Three key results emerged: (1) there are correlations between the rider’s mean pelvic tilt in simulated walk, trot and canter, but not at halt; (2) mean pelvic tilt values are not significantly influenced by competition level (p = 0.233); and (3) the minimum and maximum pelvic tilt values illustrate individual strategies between gaits. Therefore, results from static assessment and grouping of riders by competition level should be interpreted with caution. Riders should be assessed as individuals, during dynamic riding-specific tasks, to understand their postural strategies.
- pelvic tilt
- dressage rider