7) during the horse riding session

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Guardian Premium Pine Shavings Horses-store.com7) during the horse riding session

!! ! Page 16 The main finding from the scientific trials for the mixed group of riders assessed was that on average, they exercised at an intensity that would be classified as moderate and that trotting was the element that contributed the most to achieving this desired intensity of exercise.

There is now an abundance of evidence to show that physical activity is associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases and conditions (Department of Health, 2004).

The UK’s ABC of Physical Activity for Health guidelines recommended that an activity considered to be moderate intensity, is typically characterised as 3-6 METs, a rating of perceived exertion of 12 or 13 and 40-59 percent of VO2max (O’Donovan et al, 2010).

In our study, from the horse ride average METs (metabolic equivalent) were 3.7, average RPE (rating of perceived exertion) was 13 and the oxygen cost equated to 40 percent (VO2max).comparative evidence on the respective energy expenditures for recreational physical activities have been categorised in the compendium of physical activities (Ainsworth et al, 2000) and some of this data, including that for horse riding, is presented in Table 4.3 alongside data from the scientific trials.

The compendium reported general horse riding to be equivalent to 4 METs (Ainsworth et al, 2000), which would agree very closely with our findings of 3.7 METs.

The trotting element in the scientific trials equated to approximately 5.0 METs which is marginally lower to the 6.5 METs reported by the compendium (Ainsworth et al, 2000) but still clearly within the moderate intensity band.

The findings from the scientific trials and the data in the compendium (Ainsworth et al, 2000) both clearly suggest that horse riding and the associated tasks involved before and after a riding session are of a moderate intensity with the exception of walking while on the horse.

Table 4.3 Scientific trials measures of metabolic equivalents (METs) in relation to METs for other leisurebased physical activities as identified in the Compendium of Physical Activities (Ainsworth et al, 2000) In the current research there was substantial biological variability amongst our group of 17 participants Activity Horse riding Horse riding Horse riding Horse riding Horse riding Cycling Running Rowing Step aerobics Fishing/hunting Badminton Walking Swimming Description Scientific trials for current Study General Saddling & grooming horse Trotting Walking < 10mph At 8 mph Moderate effort 6-8 inch step Standing/Over undulating ground Recreational Walking dog at 2.5 mph Laps at moderate effort METs 3.7 4.0 3.5 6.5 2.5 4.0 13.5 7.0 8.5 3.0 4.5 3.0 7.0 and the UK’s ABC of Physical Activity for Health (O’Donovan et al, 2010) guidelines indicate the extent to which some activities are light, moderate, vigorous or very hard is dictated by the fitness levels of the individual.

The variability amongst the 17 respondents is exemplified by the standard deviation (± 1.1) around the mean number of METs (3.7) during the horse riding session.

Nevertheless, our variability is comparable with that reported by other studies looking at the energy expenditure of other physical activities (Bassett et al, 2000; Gunn et al, 2004, 2006).

It is likely that these between rider differences can be explained by people performing the activities at different intensities relative to their aerobic fitness levels and motivation towards the task.

That is, the fitter and more motivated participants may have performed the riding session at a greater intensity.

Similar to our data (see Figure 4.1), Devienne and Guezennec (2000) did note a large variability in %VO2max (25-70 percent), suggesting that some elements of a riding session were of insufficient intensity to be classed as moderate, while others were of a vigorous intensity and this varied between riders.

Guidelines suggest that exercise can be made up of a mixture of moderate and vigorous intensity which are associated with health benefits (O’Donovan et al, 2010). Page 17 4.3 Exercise intensity – questionnaire survey The questionnaire of horse riders examined frequency and intensity of exercise using self reported measures that are similar to those used in other surveys undertaken by Sport England (2010) and DCMS (2007) to assess participation in moderate intensity sport and active sport.

The questionnaire collected data on exercise intensity and frequency for activities associated with riding such as grooming and mucking out and the frequency of other forms of physical activity.

All other forms of physical activity were included in the survey as the existing evidence base highlights that a high proportion of riders do no other sporting activity.

In order to ascertain if such riders might be otherwise sedentary their participation in sporting activities and other forms of exercise, such as walking, needed to be determined.

The possible psychological and social benefits of horse-based sport and leisure are also considered in the questionnaire.

The 1,248 respondents were asked, using a series of questions, to self report the typical physical intensity of their riding sessions and activities associated with horse riding during the last four weeks using two different measures.

The first measure mirrored that used by the Sport England (2010) Active People survey and was based on questions asking respondents if the activity raised their breathing rate (a measure of moderate intensity exercise) or if the activity made them out of breath or sweat (a measure of high intensity exercise).

The second measure followed the approach used in a major survey of physical activity amongst anglers (Stolk, 2009) that asked respondents to rate the intensity of the activity, low, moderate or high but did not give any indication as to what physical feelings (being out of breath for example) were associated with each of the three categories.

In the survey of horse riders the terms low, medium and high were used as it was believed these terms were easier for respondents to interpret than low, moderate and high as they are terms more commonly used in social surveys.

The reasons for using two measures of self reported intensity in the survey of horse riders was to allow the measures to be compared and to provide a check that self reporting amongst questionnaire respondents was a consistent judgement even when the questions changed slightly.

Data was collected on the frequency of participation by asking respondents how many times in the last four weeks they had undertaken for at least 30 minutes the following activities: l l l horse riding, activities associated with horse riding, other sporting activities. The four week period was used to follow the approach used in the DCMS (2010) Taking Part survey and the Sport England (2010) Active People survey, both of which identify the frequency of participation in moderate intensity sport required to obtain health benefits as involving ‘participation on at least 12 separate days in the previous four weeks’. (DCMS, 2007) To investigate the perceived social and psychological benefits of horse riding respondents were asked to rate on a scale some different motivations for participation and the degree to which horse riding made them experience certain feelings.

There was also an open ended question that allowed respondents to provide qualitative data explaining their answers to questions on motivations and feelings.

In order to provide further in-depth data two questions were also included asking respondents to rate what they believed to be the three main a) mental and physical and b) social benefits of participation.

The results for the two self reported measures of the exercise intensity of horse riding are shown in Table 4.4.

Measure 1 mirrors that used by the Sport England (2010) Active People survey and indicates that 88 percent of respondents reported physical feelings (such as being out of breath) that indicated they were undertaking moderate (26 percent) or high (62 percent) intensity physical activity.

The second measure simply asked respondents to rate the exercise intensity low, medium or high and 73 percent of respondents reported it medium, and 16 percent high intensity.

The two measures differ, however, when the separate moderate and high categories for Measure 1 are compared with the medium and high categories for Measure 2.

Most respondents (73 percent) reported the intensity as medium on Measure 2 but for Measure 1 the descriptions of physical feelings meant the majority of respondents reported physical intensity as high.

This indicates the influence question design can have on answers.

Nevertheless, the similar figures for both measures of 88 percent and 89 percent for the combined upper physical intensity categories (moderate/high and medium/high) are reassuring since they indicate that different self reporting measures of exercise intensity produce similar results for the key issue concerning the degree to which horse riding involves at least moderate intensity physical activity.

Both self report measures indicate the vast majority of riders (nearly 90 percent) are undertaking riding sessions that involve at least moderate/medium intensity exercise. Page 18 Table 4.4 Self reported measures of physical intensity of horse riding activity The questionnaire survey also used the same two measures to examine the physical exercise intensity of activities associated with horse riding and the results are shown in Table 4.5.

As with the measures for horse riding the measures differ when comparing the separate medium and moderate and high categories.compared with horse riding a higher percentage of respondents – 22 percent compared to 12 percent – reported the intensity for activities associated with horse riding as low.

Nevertheless, on both measures 78 percent of respondents self reported activities associated with horse riding as involving moderate or high physical intensity exercise.

This is a significant finding since it indicates involvement in horse riding may provide health benefits from activities associated with horse riding, not just riding. Measure 1 – was the effort you put into horse riding usually enough to: No to either of the below (low) Raise your breathing rate (moderate) Make you out of breath or sweat (high) Total — A long standing body of evidence suggests that contact with animals can also have certain psychological benefits, such as the potential to reduce levels of anxiety and depression (Folse et al, 1994; Garrity et al, 1989; Hoffman et al, 2009; Scouter & Miller, 2007; Seilgel, 1990), and enhance feelings of autonomy, competence and self-esteem (Beck and Katche, 1984; de Guzman et al, 2009; Kidd and Kidd, 1985; Levinson, 1972; Robin and Bensel, 1985; Tribet et al, 2008 ).

One possible reason for this might be that companion animals facilitate social contact between people and therefore reduce feelings of loneliness or isolation.

For example, it was found in a study by McNicholas & Collins (2000) that walking with a dog results in a significantly higher number of chance conversations with strangers than walking alone.

A number of studies have also explored the effect of companion animals on depression in humans.

Some of these have found a positive correlation between pet ownership and reductions in depression.

For example, Siegel et al (1999) discovered that when comparing self-reported levels of depression in men infected with AIDS, those men who were pet owners reported less depression than those who did not have a companion animal.

Elderly people with pets have also been shown to have fewer symptoms of depression than those without pets (Roberts et al, 1996).

Other studies in this area have not been so conclusive.

For example, Seigel et al (1999) found no relationship between pet ownership and depression in men infected with HIV.

What is more, similar negative findings have been reported in studies of people with Alzheimer’s (Fritz et al, 1995), unmarried men (Tower &Nokota, 2006) and elderly women (Miller &Lago, 1990).

It has been suggested that this conflict in findings is perhaps due to a lack of consistency with regards to the methodology used and participants recruited (Wells, 2009).

Therefore further work needs to be done in this area before conclusions can be made regarding the link between pet-ownership and depression The mental and physical interaction between horse and rider will be complex and highly personalised (Brandt 2004).

A number of questionnaire respondents also raised their very complex interactions with horses in the open ended questions that allowed them to discuss their feelings about riding.

A 1.7 Conclusion – key issues for research into the health and well-being benefits of horsebased sport and leisure This appendix has highlighted that there is abundant evidence indicating that physical exercise can lead to physiological, psychological and social benefits.

The evidence base on the degree to which such benefits are obtained through horse riding is both conflicting and limited highlighting the importance of the research presented in this report and the need for the research to focus on the issues of exercise intensity and frequency since these are important determinants of physical health benefits.

The exercise testing was specifically designed to explore the issue of intensity using scientific measurements and using current definitions of what constitutes moderate intensity exercise in terms of energy expenditure measured in metabolic equivalents (METs).

The questionnaire of horse riders examined frequency and intensity of exercise using self reported measures that are similar to those used in other surveys undertaken by Sport England (2010) and DCMS (2007) to assess participation in moderate intensity sport and active sport.

The questionnaire collected data on exercise intensity and frequency for activities associated with riding such as grooming and mucking out and frequency of other forms of physical activity.

All forms of activity were included in the survey for this piece of work as the existing evidence base highlights that a high proportion of riders do no other sporting activity.

In order to ascertain if such riders might be otherwise sedentary their participation in sporting activities and other forms of exercise, such as walking, needed to be determined.

The possible psychological and social benefits of horsebased sport and leisure are also considered in the questionnaire.

The existing evidence base suggests that issues of gender and disability may also be of significance in considering the health and well-being benefits of horse riding.

Horse riding is a sport where the vast majority of participants are women but nationally women have lower participation than men in both active sport and moderate intensity sport.

Thus it is important to identify if women are receiving health benefits from horse riding.

Existing evidence also suggest that people with disabilities may receive some specific health benefits from horse riding due to the nature of the physical activity involved.

There is also existing evidence that additional health and well-being benefits can occur through forms of exercise, such as horse riding, that involve outdoor natural environments, contact with nature and interaction with animals.

There are some uncertainties associated with this evidence base as the additional benefits of outdoor exercise compared to that in indoor environments are not fully understood and the research into the health benefits of interaction with animals does not consider horses as it has focussed mainly on companion animals.

The questionnaire explored the significance for riders of interactions with outdoor environments, nature and horses and produces qualitative data on these issues. Page 51 Page 52 APPENDIX 2 Research methods A 2.1 Introduction This appendix sets out the two research methods used to collect and analyse primary data.

The first method involved a group of 17 participants who took part in two scientific trials, one in a laboratory and another in an equestrian centre.

This provided an in-depth analysis of the physical exercise intensity of recreational horse riding based on a series of validated and tested scientific techniques.

This first method, therefore, focused on a key issue for this study to examine the degree to which horse riding can be considered moderate intensity activity and thus beneficial to physical health if undertaken frequently.

The other primary data collection method used was a questionnaire survey of 1,248 horse riders.

This survey also examined physical exercise intensity and the related issue of exercise frequency.

In addition, the survey collected data on the psychological effects of horse riding.

A 2.2 Methods – Scientific trials and the measurement of exercise intensity Existing scientific research into the health benefits of physical exercise often assesses the metabolic process linked to exercise which involves the breaking down of substances in the body to create energy.

The resting metabolic rate in addition to the metabolic cost of different physical activities, such as walking, running, working, and other sporting activities, is useful for assessing the energy expenditure of an individual during a representative day (World Health Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the United Nations University (FAO/WHO/UNU) (1985).

In 2004 the Department of Health reported that 30 minutes of moderate intensity, physical activity for five or more days a week should be recommended for promoting physical activity and the prevention of diseases associated with inactivity (ie coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, hypertension, obesity and type II diabetes, Department of Health, 2004).

In 2010 the ABC of Physical Activity for Health was produced in the UK that extended these recommendations.

The guidelines stated that all healthy adults aged 18-65 years should aim to take part in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, aerobic activity each week [or exercise at three to six metabolic equivalents (METs), where a MET is described as the ratio of work metabolic rate to a standard resting metabolic rate].

Vigorous-intensity, aerobic exercise for 75 minutes each week, or equivalent combinations of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activities were also recommended (O’Donovan et al, 2010).

Aside from METs being used as an indicator of moderate intensity exercise, the percentage of VO2max (a marker of aerobic fitness based on maximal oxygen uptake) has also been used, with exercise performed at 40-59 percent of VO2max being classified as moderate intensity (O’Donovan et al, 2010).

The overall experimental design of the scientific trials used in this study, therefore, is based on the national recommendation on what exercise intensity is associated with potential health benefits.

The purpose of the scientific trials was to evaluate the energy cost of horse riding using a portable gas analysis system and ascertain whether the intensity of exercise was sufficient to be classified as ‘moderate’ and therefore, confer health benefits to individuals involved in this leisure activity.

Importantly, technical innovations in the development of portable gas analysis systems have enabled the valid measurement of expired air and energy expenditure in the field (Hausswirth, 1997; Macfarlane, 2001; McLaughlin, 2001; Pinnington, 2001).

In order to ascertain the exercise intensity of recreational horse riding, a group of participants were asked to carry out two trials, one cycling in the laboratory and one riding for 45 minutes in an equestrian centre replicating the pattern of a typical riding lesson; both involved the assessment of aerobic fitness parameters.

This experimental design was chosen to achieve a blend of internal and external validity within this investigation.

It was important for the horse riding activity to take place on a ‘real’ rather than a ‘simulated’ horse, thereby ensuring strong ecological validity.

The experimental design also included a level of criterion validity where the horse riding activity and associated metabolic costs were compared to exercise carried out during the cycling trials in a laboratory environment, where there was good control of extraneous variables and the direct determination of maximal oxygen uptake – the principle outcome fitness measure.

The measurement of maximal oxygen uptake has traditionally been used as the criterial standard of cardiorespiratory fitness, as it is considered to be the single physiological variable that best defines the functional capacity of both the cardiovascular and respiratory systems (Åstrand and Rodahl, 1986).

The precision of oxygen uptake determination is calculated to be less than 1.5 percent (James et al 2007), suggestive that only small errors are associated with this measurement technique.

Participants in the trials visited the University of Brighton, Welkin Human Performance Laboratories where procedures were explained verbally to ensure understanding of a subject information sheet provided to volunteers prior to the visit (Appendix 4).

Written informed consent was obtained, in addition to written parental consent for those volunteers aged under 18 years (Appendix 5).

Height (m) and mass (kg) were obtained and body mass index (BMI) was calculated by dividing body mass by the square of the subjects’ height.

Skin fold thickness was measured and used to calculate body density and percentage body fat Page 53 was estimated from body density values using the Siri equation (Siri, 1961).

The Siri equation, which is based upon a two compartment model of body composition, represents the simplest and most commonly used fat estimating formula.

Like many equations that estimate body fat there are assumptions, such as the uniformity in the density of human fat, but the use of the Siri equations are still accepted and encouraged (Hawes and Martin, 2001).

Participants were introduced to the Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory – Short Form (MFSI-SF) (Stein et al, 1998; Stein et al, 2004) in advance of the main testing.

This is a 30-item questionnaire designed, validated and frequently used to assess the severity, frequency, and daily pattern of fatigue as well as its perceived interference with quality of life (Stein et al, 2004).

As this investigation was interested in evaluating the potential health benefits of horse riding, which would impact on quality of life indices, the MFSI was considered an appropriate measurement tool.

Participants were asked to complete the questionnaire before the horse riding and laboratory cycling trials to ascertain baseline values.

Post riding and cycling questionnaires were also completed to determine the effect of the respective exercise interventions.

Items were rated on a five-point Likert-scale indicating how true each statement is for the subject (0 = not at all; 4 = extremely).

The score [range, -24 (full of vigour) to +96 (fatigued)] provided an overall indication of fatigue.

Subjects performed an incremental cycling test to volitional exhaustion on an SRM cycle ergometer (SchrobererRadMeBtechnik, Weldorf, Germany) using a protocol and criteria recommended by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Science (1997).

Following a five-minute warm-up, the power was set to increase incrementally.

Prescribed starting power and increments were determined based on the answers by participants to the MFSI-SF survey.

Expired air was analysed using a portable cardiopulmonary exercise system (MetaMax®3X, Cortex Biophysik, Leipzig, Germany) to obtain peak oxygen uptake (V O2max) values.

The system was calibrated against known gases and volumes prior to every laboratory test.

Heart rate was also recorded continuously by the Metamax®3X system via a heart rate monitor (Polar Electro, Tampere, Finland).

Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE, a scale that evaluates perception of effort) were recorded in the last four-five seconds of each one minute stage (Borg, 1970).

Participants completed the MFSI-SF pre and post the incremental cycling test.

Participants subsequently completed a standardised 45-minute horse riding session at the equestrian centre at Plumpton College, led by an instructor.

This consisted of a protocol equivalent to a British Horse Society Stage 2 riding lesson, as outlined in Table A 2.1.

Table A 2.1 Horse-riding protocol used in horse riding trial Time 0-5 minutes 5-15 minutes 15-25 minutes 25-35 minutes 35-45 minutes Activity Walk warm up Trot (with stirrups) Trot and canter work Work without stirrups – sitting trot and walk Trot and canter work The MFSI-SF was also completed pre and post horse-riding session.

RPE was recorded at 15 minute intervals without disruption to the horse riding session.

Heart rate and expired air were analysed throughout the 45 minute protocol via the previously mentioned portable metabolic measurement system, which was calibrated using ambient air prior to every horse riding session.

A range of variables were obtained during subsequent download and analyses of the collected data, including oxygen consumption (V O2), carbon dioxide production (V CO2), respiratory exchange ratio (RER, a measure of fat and carbohydrate breakdown) minute ventilation (V E, the volume of air ventilated) before energy expenditure was calculated.

Seventeen mixed-ability recreational horse riders participated in this study.

The group consisted of one male and sixteen females, ranging in age from 17 to 54 years.

The participants were limited to volunteers with no contra indications to exercise as determined by a medical questionnaire (Appendix 6) and their descriptive anthropometric characteristics are presented in Table A 2.2. Page 54 Table A 2.2 Anthropometric and peak oxygen uptake characteristics of participants mean ± standard deviation] Age (years) Mean SD(±) 25.8 11.6 Height (cm) 165 8.7 Mass (kg) 68.3 18.8 BMI (kg.m-2) 24.9 5.3 Body Fat percent 30.5 6.2 Power @ VO2max (W) 189 45.7 Absolute VO2max L.min-1 1.672 0.496 Relative VO2max ml.kg-1.min-1 24.6 4.00 BMI, Body Mass Index; VO2max, Maximum amount of oxygen you can utilise during an incremental test to exhaustion The results in Table A2.2 indicate quite large variation amongst the participants in the scientific trials in terms of age and body size, although not gender.

The results of the Allied Dunbar National Fitness Survey (1992) where maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) was estimated over 1,700 men and women in the UK, produced average values of 55 and 40 ml.kg-1.min-1 for men and women aged 16-24 years, respectively.

After this time, VO2max declined steadily with increasing age, resulting in average values of 30 and 25 ml.kg-1.min-1 for men and women aged 65-74 years, respectively.

Aerobic fitness levels of the participants in the current study (~ 25 ml.kg-1.min-1) might be considered lower than average, although this is in part due to the nature of the cycling activity which requires a smaller muscle mass to be recruited than when running.

Nevertheless, this is useful group of participants since they are a larger number compared to previous scientific studies (Devienne and Guzennec 2000, Meyers 2006) and also more heterogeneous in terms of age and body size.

A 2.3 Methods – the questionnaire survey of recreational horse riders The self completion questionnaire survey of recreational horse riders was designed to gather both quantitative and qualitative data.

It comprised 25 questions in total, took approximately 15 minutes to complete and obtained standard socio demographic data on gender, age, occupation and long term illness/disability (see Appendix 5).

Physical health issues were addressed through questions that obtained self reported measures of physical exercise intensity and frequency for horse riding, activities associated with horse riding (such as grooming and mucking out) and other sporting activities.

A series of questions generated two self reported measures of exercise intensity.

The first measure mirrored that used by the Sport England (2010) Active People survey and was based on questions asking respondents if the activity raised their breathing rate (a measure of moderate intensity exercise) or if the activity made them out of breath or sweat (a measure of high intensity exercise).

The second measure followed the approach used in a major survey of physical activity amongst anglers (Stolk, 2009) that asked respondents to rate the intensity of the activity, low, moderate or high but did not give any indication as to what physical feelings (being out of breath, for example) were associated with each of the three categories.

In the survey of horse riders the terms low, medium and high used as it was believed these terms were easier for respondents to interpret than low, moderate and high as they are terms more commonly used in social surveys.

The reasons for using two measures of self reported intensity in the survey of horse riders was to allow the measures to be compared and to provide a check that self reporting amongst questionnaire respondents was a consistent judgement even when the questions changed slightly.

Data was collected to show frequency of participation by asking how many times in the last four weeks the respondent had undertaken for at least 30 minutes horse riding, activities associated with horse riding and other sporting activities.

The four-week period was used to follow the approach used in the DCMS (2010) Taking Part survey and the Sport England (2010) Active People survey, both of which identify the frequency of participation in moderate intensity sport required to obtain health benefits as involving ‘participation on at least 12 separate days in the previous four weeks’. (DCMS, 2007) To investigate the perceived social and psychological benefits of horse riding respondents were asked to rate on a scale some different motivations for participation and the degree to which horse riding made them experience certain feelings.

There was also an open ended question that allowed respondents to provide qualitative data explaining their answers to questions on motivations and feelings.

In order to provide further in-depth data two questions were also included asking respondents to rate what they believed to be the three main a) mental and physical and b) social benefits of participation.

The survey was piloted and quality checked using a sample of 50 staff and students at Plumpton College to confirm that all the questions could be easily understood and that the completion time was approximately 15 minutes to ensure low rates of failure to complete all questions.

As a result of the pilot some minor changes were made to the survey but it was decided not to add further questions so as not to lengthen completion time. Page 55 A 2.4 Methods – the sample for the questionnaire survey of recreational horse riders The population of interest for the survey were just recreational riders and it was not the aim to undertake a probability survey that would allow direct comparison with other groups of individuals such as nonriders.

The questionnaire recruitment methods discussed below were designed, therefore, to obtain a sample of a sufficient size to allow disaggregation of the data to examine particular sub-groups of the sample.

The recruitment methods proved to be successful in terms of responses and the target sample size of 600 was exceeded so that a total of 1,248 surveys were completed that after quality checking were deemed suitable for use in the analysis.

This figure is a valuable sample size since it is equivalent to 0.35 percent of the 337,000 people that according to the Sport England (2010) Active People survey take part in equestrianism each week in England.

The Sport England Active People survey is based on a sample of 0.3 percent of the national population.

A variety of methods were used to recruit respondents between September 2010 and February 2011.

An on-line questionnaire was placed on the Plumpton College website and a web link to the questionnaire was made available from The British Horse Society website.

Respondents who did not wish to complete the questionnaire on-line could download a copy that could be returned via email or in hard copy through the post.

Hard copies of the survey were posted to those who did not have access to the internet.

A press release was issued to promote the web link amongst horse riders and the survey was advertised at a British Horse Society volunteer event.

The link was also forwarded through The British Horse Society volunteer network.

The British Horse Society membership is large, but to ensure respondents were drawn from a wide range of non-British Horse Society members, respondents were recruited via recreational riding establishments.

Using The British Horse Society ‘Where to Ride’ database a sample of riding centres, trekking centres, riding holiday centres and approved centres were contacted to see if they would be willing to take part.

The establishments that agreed were sent hard copies of the survey for their clients to complete.

In addition, the research team attended Blenheim Horse trials to distribute the survey in hard copy to individuals attending and exhibiting.

The recruitment methods were not, however, designed to obtain quotas for particular sub-groups of riders but response checking was used to achieve a sufficient sample size of people who rode regularly in each country within the UK to enable separate analysis in future for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

A question asked respondents in which country they most often took part in riding.

At the mid-point of the recruitment period a count was taken of the answers to this question and in the UK countries that at the mid-point of the survey had small sample sizes approaches were made to establishments in the ‘Where to Ride’ database so that they would to take part by issuing questionnaires to clients.

The key demographic characteristics of the sample are summarised in Table 2.3.

Some comparisons can be made between the characteristics of survey respondents and the characteristics of those who participate once a week in equestrianism as identified in the Sport England (2010) Active People Survey.

These comparisons must be treated cautiously since the Sport England survey only covers England and, importantly differs from the survey of horse rides because it does not report findings for those who participate less than once a week.

In the survey of horse riders 93 percent of respondents are female, which is similar to the figure of 90 percent in the Sport England survey.

The survey of horse riders has a higher percentage of respondents aged above 45 (48 percent) than the Sport England survey (33 percent).

This age profile may be linked to the fact that in the survey of riders 23 percent of respondents indicated they had a longstanding illness/disability compared to 10 percent in the Sport England survey.

The percentages of horse riders that ride most regularly in each UK country shown in Table 3.3 are not dissimilar to the percentage of the UK adult population that lives in each country.

The discussion of the current evidence base in Appendix 1 noted the need to understand issues associated with women and people with disabilities as part of an analysis of the health and well-being benefits of horse-based sport and leisure.

The comparisons and the data in Table A 2.3 indicate that both of these key demographic groups are well represented in the sample of horse riders obtained for the questionnaire survey.

The demographics also indicate a mix of respondents in terms of employment status that includes people working full time or part time, retired people and students.

The questionnaire also used a self reported measure of riding ability and 91 percent of respondents rated themselves as intermediate/advanced with only small proportions reporting they were beginners.

There are certain caveats associated with the survey that need to be taken into account when considering the findings presented in sections 4-6 of this report.

The recruitment methods were not designed to produce a strictly representative sample as this would have required a very expensive and large national survey of both riders and non-riders.

The survey was targeted at people who ride, so the recruitment methods were designed to ensure a large number of riders completed the survey to provide confidence in the findings.

The recruitment methods also aimed to ensure a range of riders took part in terms of key demographics such as age, disability and employment status and Table A 2.3 below suggests this aim has been achieved.

Another key caveat is that the survey collected self reported assessments of the

Read more about 7) during the horse riding session:

Equestrian Products – Guardian Horse Bedding, Equiderma Skin Products, Equilinn Sports Bra

Other Sources:

  • Brasstown Valley Resort Stables | North Georgia Horseback Riding …
  • Horses, Horse Pictures, Horse Facts – National Geographic
  • PONIES FOR SALE – PonyCity
  • Equestrian Products – Guardian Horse Bedding, Equiderma Skin Products, Equilinn Sports Bra, Learn more about Guardian Premium Pine Shavings Horses-store.com HERE:

    Horses-Store.com and 7) during the horse riding session
    Horses-Store.com - 7) during the horse riding session
    Horses-Store.com and 7) during the horse riding session
    Horses-Store.com - 7) during the horse riding session