Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Riding styles can affect movement and lameness
Researchers used inertial sensors to assess how different riding styles influence a horse’s head and pelvic movement symmetry.

Researchers assess how different riding styles influence movement symmetry

Researchers at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, and the RVC have published new research that considers how different seating styles influence a horse’s movement symmetry.

The article, published in the journal PLOS One, presents results of research concerning horse-rider interactions. It is hoped the results will help riders identify the early signs of lameness and aid vets in the correct identification of the lame limb.

Bio-engineering lecturer Dr Thilo Pfau of the RVC said: “Equine gait analysis has undergone a recent transformation from a purely lab-based science to a practical tool that can be applied to analysing the movement of horses doing ‘everyday tasks’, such as exercise under the rider.

“This transformation has been driven by progress in sensor and wireless technology, and PhD students in this field often benefit from a multi-disciplinary team of supervisors. The complementary skill sets of the team from Uppsala and the RVC Structure and Motion Lab is one successful example of this multi-disciplinary approach.”

In the study, researchers used inertial sensors to assess how different riding styles influence a horse’s head and pelvic movement symmetry. The horses trotted in straight lines, lunged and were ridden in circles in both directions.

The team assessed 15 different trot conditions in a total of 26 horses. These included three unridden conditions and 12 ridden conditions, where the rider performed three different seating styles - using trot, sitting trot and two-point seat.

They found that the rising trot induced systematic changes in movement symmetry. Most obvious was decreased pelvic rise that occurred as the rider was actively riding up and down in stirrups, creating a downward movement counteracting the horse’s push off.

“It is our hope that the results of this study will aid riders and trainers in early detection of lameness and veterinarians in the correct identification of the lame limb," explained lead author Emma Persson-Sjodin of the University of Uppsala.
"A timely recognition and a correct diagnosis is essential for appropriate treatment and a good prognosis avoiding further progression into chronic orthopaedic disease.

She added: "Improvements in lameness detection and diagnosis will lead to improved welfare and increased longevity of our horses which is a general aim of our research group.”

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Vets save premature penguin chick

News Story 1
 Vets have saved a tiny Humboldt penguin chick after her egg was accidentally broken by her parents. Keepers at ZSL London Zoo were shocked to find the chick, named Rainbow, still alive and rushed her straight to the Zoo’s on-site veterinary clinic.

It was a little way to go until the chick should have hatched, so the process was touch and go. Vets removed bits of shell from around the chick with tweezers until she could be lifted out and placed in a makeshift nest.

Rainbow is now in a custom-built incubation room where she spends her days cuddled up to a toy penguin. Keepers will hand-fed Rainbow for the next 10 weeks until she is healthy enough to move to the penguin nursery.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
BVA infographic to help shoppers understand farm assurance schemes

An infographic to help members of the public understand farm assurance schemes has been produced by the BVA. The infographic outlines BVA’s priorities for animal welfare and shows whether or not the schemes address these priorities in their standards.

BVA president John Fishwick said: “The infographic is not intended to be a league table but to allow people to understand what aspects of animal health and welfare are addressed by assurance schemes so that they can decide which scheme best aligns with their own individual preferences and priorities."