The authors studied the interaction between rider and horse by measuring their ensemble motions in a trot sequence, comparing 1 expert and 1 novice rider. Whereas the novice"s movements displayed transient departures from phase synchrony, the expert"s motions were continuously phase-matched with those of the horse. The tight ensemble synchrony between the expert and the horse was accompanied by an increase in the temporal regularity of the oscillations of the trunk of the horse. Observed differences between expert and novice riders indicated that phase synchronization is by no means perfect but requires extended practice. Points of contact between horse and rider may haptically convey effective communication between them.
Animals Biomechanical Phenomena Horses* Humans Professional Competence Psychomotor Performance/physiology* Sports* Time Factors