What constitutes a suitable match between horses and riders? Survey launched to find out more

suitability of horse and rider looked at it new survey. Image of a horse and rider with an orange top on and saddle cloth
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An important survey about the factors that should be considered when matching riders with horses or ponies has been launched by The Suitably Mounted Group (SMG) to help understand more about what constitues a suitable match between horses and riders.

The topic has become highly debated in recent years, and this was the inspiration for establishing the Suitably Mounted Group.

Dr Tamzin Furtado, one of SMG’s founders, has highlighted previously that although the focus often falls on rider weight, many other factors may need to be taken into account when determining rider suitability, including: equine conformation, condition, and fitness.

Now SMG’s Research Working Group, comprising Dr David Marlin, Dr Jane Williams and Lorna Cameron, has devised a short online survey to capture the views of equestrians about which factors are the most important to consider when aiming to match riders with horses.

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Dr David Marlin explains:

“It’s important that we try to understand what riders, officials, vets, and in fact anyone involved in equestrianism, thinks about how to suitably match horses and riders in order to support horse welfare. The results of this survey will be shared in the public domain, and this information will inform future research, guidelines and education.”

The survey, which can be completed online here, is anonymous, consists of 14 questions, and is open to any equestrians over 18. It should take around 8 minutes to complete.

When completing the survey, participants are asked to consider each of the factors in isolation. For example, where the survey asks about horse age, the question should be considered on its own and not in relation to other factors, such as: health, back strength, rider height, etc.

In the future, the group aims to look at scenarios where numerous factors may need to be considered for research. For now, however, this objective falls outside the scope of the current survey. 

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Author: Suzanne Ashton Founder, Everything Horse Ba Hons Marketing Management email: contact@everythinghorseuk.co.uk

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