London, July 17 (ANI): Ever wondered why do jockeys sit on horses in such a weird way? Well, that's because it allows stallions to gallop more quickly, a new study has found.
Their modern riding posture - the so-called Martini glass - has led to a dramatic improvement in race times, by making things much easier on their horses, New Scientist.
For the study, Thilo Pfau, a bioengineer at the Royal Veterinary College in London, and colleague Alan Wilson strapped inertial sensors to racehorses and jockeys during training sessions in which horses averaged 11 metres per second.
Pfau said although horses run remarkably efficiently, they aren't perfect.
"They have to accelerate and decelerate, they have to jump up and down through each stride," consuming precious energy. "But the jockey doesn't, the jockey can compensate through each stride," Pfau said.
The researchers found that by actively keeping their bodies stable through the gallop, jockeys unburden their horses from accelerating and decelerating their human passengers, thus saving energy.
They found that the jockeys' adjustments are larger than they need to be, suggesting that they might help horses race more efficiently than they would unsaddled.
The study has been published in Journal Science. (ANI)