Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Ann VanSant


The purposes of this study were to: (1) describe posture and movement of non-disabled children while English horseback riding at a walk, (2) propose a developmental sequence for each of three components of body posture and movement: the upper extremity the lower extremity, and the head and trunk, and (3) describe age differences in posture and movement while riding.

The study was designed as a cross-sectional descriptive study. Thirty children without disabilities: ten five-year-olds who had never received formal riding lessons; ten seven- and eight-year-olds who had received six months or less of formal riding lessons; and ten nine and ten-year-olds who had received seven months or more cf formal riding lessons; were videotaped while horseback riding at a walk. Posture and movement of the upper extremity, the lower extremity, and the head and trunk, were each described in writing and categories were established to summarize the different postures and movements observed within each component. Horseback riding literature, which describes an "advanced" form for English riding was consulted to propose a developmental sequence for each component. The frequency of occurrence of each category in each age group was determined and graphed with respect to age. This graph was compared with the sequence proposed after consulting the riding literature.

As a result of the study, five categories of posture and movement were formed for each of the components. As a group, the children demonstrated 54 different combinations of component posture or movement while riding. Each age group demonstrated a different modal combination of component posture or movement. None of the developmental sequences proposed from riding literature were supported by the data. However, age differences observed in this study enabled new developmental sequences to be proposed for development of component posture in the task of English horseback riding.


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