The impact of online educational talks on young equestrians' knowledge of breast health and breast issues

Lorna Jean Cameron, Rachel Smith, Natalie Stones, Marianne Freeman, Victoria Lewis, Lucy Dumbell, Jenny Burbage

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The breasts are a barrier to female participation in physical activity. Breast and bra issues are prevalent in female horse riders. Wearing a sports bra can minimise these issues, but many do not exclusively wear one for horse-riding. This study investigated the impact of live online breast educational talks on subsequent self-perception of knowledge and understanding. Two online surveys (GoogleForms™), one immediately pre-talk and one immediately post-talk, were created to assess perceived impact. Talks consisted of five sections: breast anatomy; types of sports bras; breast issues in relation to exercise; breast issues specifically related to horse riders and importance of increasing awareness in the horse-riding community. Four educational talks were delivered to different groups of college and university students (n=67) studying equine courses. Completed pre- and post-talk surveys (40 female, 2 male) were analysed using a generalised linear model and post hoc Tukey tests. Comfort talking to others about breast health issues increased significantly after the talks, particularly for larger breasted (≥ D cup) participants (p=0.032). Knowledge of bra fit, breast support and breast pain significantly increased (p<0.01) post-talk, particularly in those who had not previously experienced breast pain whilst horse riding (p≥0.001). The intervention was successful at increasing participant understanding and knowledge of breast health issues, although different educational tools such as access to online resources or in-person talks may prove beneficial to equestrians to further increase comfort in broaching breast health issues with peers and support networks in future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-36
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Equine Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2024


  • Horse rider
  • breast issues
  • stigma
  • education

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