A Sparsholt student with a love of horses and a passion for science is conducting the first research of its kind into breast support for female horse riders. Felicity Goater will be working alongside the Research Group in Breast Health at the University of Portsmouth, and is looking to establish the biomechanics of the rider’s breasts during horse riding and ultimately if there is a link between good breast support and good riding.
Felicity, who is studying MSc Equine Behaviour, Performance and Training at Sparsholt College, explained of her breast support research: “The majority of female riders tend to wear a sports bra but are unaware and do not understand what breast support is needed. There has, however, been no published research as yet which investigates the breast biomechanics of female horse riders to identify what riders should wear to help them make these choices. I am hoping, through this research, that we can provide data which may lead to further study in this area.”
The research is a collaboration between Felicity, Dr Jenny White from the Research Group in Breast Health at the University of Portsmouth and Sparsholt College MSc EBPT tutor, Lorna Cameron. The partnership brings together the Research Group in Breast Health at the University of Portsmouth, which is internationally renowned for research on the biomechanics of the breast in sport, and the equestrian expertise of Sparsholt College’s Faculty of Equine and Applied Animal Science.
Prior to the pilot study Jenny and Lorna surveyed 1500 female horse riders about any breast health issues they experience whilst riding, the data from which will help to shape the work carried out in this exciting area of research. Felicity will be conducting her data collection for this research project with the help of Quob Stables Equestrian Centre, Southampton utilising their horse riding simulator. Felicity hopes to publish her findings by December 2015; Jenny and Lorna plan for these studies to form the basis for an ongoing research link between the Sparsholt College Faculty of Equine and Applied Animal Science and the Research Group in Breast Health at the University of Portsmouth.
The Research Group in Breast Health is internationally renowned for research on the biomechanics of the breast. The group are responsible for over half of the scientific publications in this area and regularly present work nationally and internationally. The Research Group is well known with over 60 million media mentions worldwide and commercial collaborations with many of the major lingerie, sports bra and sporting apparel manufacturers around the world. The Research Group aims to increase scientific knowledge of breast health, and to raise awareness of this important aspect of women’s health.
The Sparsholt MSc Equine Behaviour, Performance and Training course is designed to further develop the equestrian academic skills and knowledge of graduates, focusing on the field of equestrian behaviour, performance and training. The course is unlike other equine Masters combining all relevant elements of equitation science and the management, training and welfare of the ridden horse along with sports science and applied animal behaviour science.