A rising trot is less loading to a horse's back than a sitting trot, producing less vertical force as measured through new biomechanical techniques, according to Dutch researchers.

From the kinematic data of 13 riders on two horses, scientists were able to determine that two force peaks are present during each trot stride. Calculations of the rider's center of mass acceleration as it varied during the stride were used to find the reaction force between the rider and the horse's back. Comparisons revealed that for both peaks, the force was significantly lower in the rising, or "posting," trot than in the sitting trot.

Earlier research by the same group compared the horse's back extension at the trot under a rising rider, a sitting rider, and an empty saddle. They observed in the rising trot, when the rider's seat is up, the horse's back is less extended than it is during a sitting trot. However, when the rider's seat is down in the rising trot, the horse's back extension is similar to the extension seen during the sitting trot.

Biomechanics research

A horse and rider evaluated in the study; the "lights" are the biomechanical markers.

"Biomechanical models have shown that the back of the horse will extend more if extra load is applied to the back," said Patricia de Cocq, MSc, DVM, researcher at the Experimental Zoology Group of the Animal Sciences Group in Wageningen, The Netherlands, and prima