The Animal Health Trust (AHT) is appealing for riders to help with a research project assessing the interaction between horse, saddle and rider, by completing an online survey.

Dr Sue Dyson, head of clinical orthopaedics at the centre for equine studies at the AHT, is conducting the study with PhD student Line Greve.

“Saddle slip is a problem seen in all sorts of horses and ponies, and can contribute to back pain and impaired performance,” said Ms Greve. “Research suggests 25% of British dressage horses have a history of back-related problems and subsequent reduced performance.”

The project currently involves around 700 riders, but they want to boost this figure to 1,000. They are particularly interested in understanding why a saddle may persistently slip to one side in some horses.

Participants would need to complete an anonymous online questionnaire at It should take 15mins maximum to complete.

Results will be presented at the Saddle Research Trust Conference, 29 November 2014