2nd International Conference

Horses, saddles and riders: applying the science

Conference flyer


A word from our sponsors:


“World Horse Welfare is a practical and forward-thinking charity that believes in using scientific evidence to help guide its work. We are very pleased to support this prestigious conference that aims to apply the latest scientific research to the issues that surround saddles and their effects on both horse and rider. We frequently see welfare problems caused by a lack of understanding of saddlery and hope that this conference will improve the knowledge of all that participate.”
Tony Tyler, World Horse Welfare Deputy Chief Executive


"Research in this area is important for horse welfare and for top class performance at Olympic level to our teams."
John McEwen MBE BVMS MRCVS, British Equestrian Federation Director of Equine Sports Science and Medicine


"Research and Development play an important part in Amerigo brand and product strategy, keeping us abreast of our ever-changing and advancing market. We believe the work of the Saddle Research Trust has a valuable role, not least to ensure a continual focus on the health, welfare and performance of our horses. We are proud to sponsor the SRT Conference."

Simon Middleton, Managing Director of Zebra Products Ltd who distribute the Amerigo brand in the UK

Conference Report

The morning programme, Chaired by Dr Charlotte Nevison, Director of Research Students, Faculty of Science and Technology, Anglia Ruskin University, explored the impact that horse, saddle and rider have on each other. Presentations were given by Anne Bondi, Director of the SRT and Professor Hilary Clayton Chair of Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The pivotal sessions were from Dr Sue Dyson, Head of Clinical Orthopaedics at the Centre for Equine Studies at the Animal Health Trust and Line Greve, PhD Student who will also present the results of a new lameness and saddle slip study, building on research conducted last year. It confirms that hindlimb lameness is the most important cause of saddle slip and reveals a startling frequency of lameness in the general sports horse population.

The afternoon session, Chaired by John McEwen, BEF Director of Equine Sports Science and Medicine, examined the kinematics of the equine back and neck (Professor Christian Peham, Leader of the Movement Science Group, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna), the effects of saddle design and function (Dr Michael Weishaupt, Head of Equine Sports Medicine, University of Zurich) and influence of the rider (Professor Lars Roepstorff, Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) and practical application of science (Professor René van Weeren, Head of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Utrecht).  Richard Davison, Olympic dressage rider and former BEF World Class Performance Manager gave his personal view of research before the full panel made themselves available for questions and discussion from the floor.


The Conference Proceedings Report, written by Trust Director Anne Bondi, together with details of the conference presenters and full programme can be dowloaded by following the links below:


Some of the 400 Conference Delagates



Research Workshop Delegates

Research Posters


An area was set aside at the Conference for the display of posters relating to the theme "Horses, saddle and riders: applying the science". The following posters were submitted (PDF versions can be downloaded by clicking the [abstract] or [poster] links after each title):

  • Bondi, A.; Gandy, E.; Hogg, R., A preliminary investigation of the asynchrony of horse, saddle and rider interaction. [Abstract] [Poster]
  • Crosby-Jones, A., The effect of McTimoney manipulation on pressure measurements beneath the saddle. [Abstract] [Poster]
  • Francis, N.J., Attwood, S.and Berry, J., Is peer pressure the greatest influence on the use of safety equipment by junior riders. [Abstract] [Poster]
  • Gandy, E.; Bondi, A.; Hogg, R.; Cornell, A., A software measurement tool for analysis of asymmetry in the interaction between horse, rider and saddle. [Abstract] [Poster]
  • Gandy, E.A., Bondi, A., Hogg, R. and Pigott, T.M.C. A preliminary investigation of the use of inertial sensing technology for the measurement of hip rotation asymmetry in horse riders. [Abstract] [Poster]
  • Keepax, S., Attwood, S.and Berry, J., A pilot study into the effect of a GPS and treeless saddle on the temperature of the horse’s back and its freedom of movement. [Abstract] [Poster]
  • Nahum, M., Attwood, S.and Berry, J., A pilot investigation into the limb phasing characteristics and stride length of fully shod, partially shod and barefoot horses. [Abstract] [Poster]
  • Pigott, T.M.C., A theoretical model of causal factors associated with functional asymmetry in equestrian sports. [Abstract] [Poster]
  • Stancombe, L., Berry, J.and Attwood, S., A pilot study into the effects of various mounting techniques on the pressure of the horse’s back. [Abstract] [Poster]
  • Stone, C., Berry, J.and Attwood, S., Difference and relationship in length of the ‘mean’ canter stride of a horse and the intermediate strides within a two stride double fence combination. [Abstract] [Poster]

A certificate was awarded for the best research poster submitted by a student. Congratulations to Alexandra Crosby-Jones, who received this award for her poster titled “The effect of McTimoney manipulation on pressure measurements beneath the saddle”.


Best Student Poster

Alexandra Crosby-Jones being presented with her certificate for best
student poster by Richard Davison

Additional Links/Information


Click the links below to view more detailed information or to download documents relating to the conference:


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