World Horse Welfare’s hugely popular series of webinars is set to return on Wednesday November 3 at 7pm for the winter season, after taking a break over the summer.

The first webinar will see Dr Russell MacKechnie-Guire tackle the important topic of how rider balance affects a horse’s way of going, something anyone who rides will want to find out more about.

Russell will show us how a horse’s movement changes in response to rider balance, how we can tell if we are unbalanced, and what we can do about it. Russell has extensive research experience in equine biomechanics, the horse-saddle-rider interaction, and the effects of rider asymmetry on equine back movement – all of which are relevant to this webinar.

Following his presentation Russell will be joined for a panel discussion by Richard Davison, a four-time Olympian and European medallist who has been at the forefront of the international equestrian world for almost four decades, and Tony Tyler, World Horse Welfare’s Deputy Chief Executive, who has been involved in the horse industry for more than 35 years and who has extensive experience of training riders and horses.

Among other topics, the discussion will cover what the most common rider faults are, whether suboptimal rider balance leads to over-reliance on artificial aids, and how riders can improve their position without spending a lot of money. The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A session in which you will have the chance to ‘ask the experts’ any questions you may have.

By registering for the webinar through Zoom, you will be able to take part in the various polls, ask questions during the Q&A and enjoy an interactive experience. If you are keen to be part of the conversation, then please join here:

The webinars are free to attend and if you are unable to attend via Zoom they can be viewed as a Facebook Live session. If you have missed any of the previous webinars – which have tackled subjects as fascinating and diverse as keeping horses fit, weight management, euthanasia, biosecurity, horse mental wellbeing and travelling – they are all available to watch on the World Horse Welfare YouTube channel:

More about the presenters

Dr Russell MacKechnie-Guire has a BSc in Equine and Human Sports Science and a PhD in Equine Biomechanics. He has extensively researched the effect that tack has on equine health and performance. Russell’s current area of research is horse-saddle-rider interaction, spinal kinematics in horses when ridden and the effect that rider asymmetry has on equine back movement. In addition, Russell collaborates with researchers from around the world on various research projects associated with equine health and performance. He regularly presents his work at international meetings and is a consultant for the British Equestrian Federation’s World Class, Team GBR programme. Russell is a member of the Scientific Advisory Groups for Team GBR and the Society of Master Saddlers, and chairs the horse and rider subgroup, part of the International Task force on Laterality in Sports Horses. Russell is based at Centaur Biomechanics, a company which he founded in 2006.

World Horse Welfare Trustee Richard Davison is a four-time Olympian and European dressage medallist who has been at the forefront of the international equestrian world for almost four decades. In addition to competing himself, Richard has held the roles of British World Class Performance Manager and British Dressage Team Captain and he has coached some of the world’s most successful dressage and showjumping riders. This has included being a coach for the UK Sport World Class Development Showjumping Programme. Richard is also a Fellow of the British Horse Society and the International Dressage Trainer Club. He has an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Nottingham Trent University, where he is also a Visiting Fellow.

Tony Tyler has spent more than 35 years involved in the horse industry and has extensive experience training horses and riders. He is a BHSI and has worked in riding schools, as a freelance coach, BHS Chief Examiner, and senior college lecturer. He has spent the last 22 years working for World Horse Welfare, starting out as the Norfolk Centre Manager and now overseeing the work of the charity throughout the UK including the Rescue and Rehoming Centres, Field Officers, education, and liaising with other charities and organisations.

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