What rider posture at collected trot, free trot and passage looks like

What rider posture at collected trot, free trot and passage looks like
04 Mar 2015

Image – Roland Thunholm/FEI


Swedish researchers have recorded that as per equestrian literature, high level dressage riders engage their core and use their seat to ask for collection. Varying degrees of collection are required to ride movements such as piaffe and passage.

The study covered seven dressage horses competing a Grand Prix or Intermediate (FEI) level. The horse where ridden on a treadmill and horse and rider movements were recorded in three dimensions, using reflective markers and infra-red cameras.

The riders were not continually half halting to maintain passage, the researchers noted, but rather, half halted initially as part of the aid for the movement, and then immediately released the pressure. This is a good demonstration of how negative reinforcement training should ultimately work: the horses could go off a brief, subtle aid.

A half halt was defined as downward pressure of the rider’s seat.

Below is a visual depiction of what the mean riders position looked like at the collected trot, passage and free trot.




Byström, A., Roepstroff, L., Geser-von Peinen, K., Weishaupt, M. A., & Rhodin, M. (2015). Differences in rider movement pattern between different degrees of collection at the trot in high-level dressage horses ridden on a treadmill. Human Movement Science, 41, 1-8.