Rider muscle activity in horseback archery

A comparative, transdisciplinary approach to different “horse-riding styles” 


The aim of this “pilot project” is to develop a standard procedure for biomechanics research on ancient horse-riding styles and mounted combat techniques: With the help of a horse-riding simulator and surface electromyography, we will compare riders’ muscles activity in different riding styles and using different saddle types, to obtain preliminary reference data for bioarchaeological research on the “horse riding syndrome”. Although biomechanics research is common in modern equestrian sports, it has not yet been applied to ancient horse-riding styles in the context of mounted combat techniques. The latter are valuable cultural heritage, which we can attempt to reconstruct with the help of experimental archaeology. Our “pilot project” will be an important step in the process of writing a research grant application for a more substantial transdisciplinary research project on the topic of “horse-riding” styles, mounted combat techniques, and horse tack in Late Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period.

Birgit Bühler (VIAS, HEAS, Univ. Wien), Sylvia Kirchengast (Dept. Evolutionary Anthropology, HEAS, Univ. Wien), Philipp Kornfeind (Institute of Sport Science, Univ. Wien) & Juliana Exel (Institute of Sport Science, Univ. Wien)

Simulation berittenes Bogenschießen – im Galopp, in den Steigbügeln stehend, linkshändig, Schuss nach hinten (Foto: Reitsimulator Wien).