Study: Horses adjust to a rider's weight

Apr 05, 2006

A study showing horses change their back position and alter limb movements to adjust to a rider's weight was presented Tuesday in Canterbury, England.

The research by Patricia de Cocq and colleagues at Wageningen University in the Netherlands shows a horse's saddle and the weight of its rider can directly affect equine performance, causing spinal abnormalities in racehorses and show jumpers.

The researchers analyzed horse biomechanics with and without 165 pound loads. The scientists also measured the degree of back-extension and flexion using data obtained on the relative position and angle of the horse's vertebrae. They found weight induces an overall extension of the back, which may contribute to soft tissue injuries.

"We consider the changes in limb movement to be a compensatory mechanism for the changed back-position", said de Cocq. "If causes of back pain are known, preventive measures can be taken. The techniques used in this study can be used to compare the comfort for the horse of different saddle designs, which may then improve horse performance."

The study was presented Tuesday at the University of KENT during the annual meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Traditional forms of media coverage valued over advertising, study finds

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recreating clothes from the Iron Age

Nov 26, 2014

A few years ago, the oldest known piece of clothing ever discovered in Norway, a tunic dating from the Iron Age, was found on a glacier in Breheimen. Now about to be reconstructed using Iron Age textile techniques, ...

Bovril: a very beefy (and British) love affair

Jul 05, 2013

The makers of the beef extract called Bovril were pioneers in the dark arts of marketing.  Speaking tomorrow at the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery, Cambridge University historian Lesley Steinitz will ...

Recommended for you

Predicting human crowds with statistical physics

3 hours ago

For the first time researchers have directly measured a general law of how pedestrians interact in a crowd. This law can be used to create realistic crowds in virtual reality games and to make public spaces safer.

Bribery 'hits 1.6 billion people a year'

6 hours ago

A total of 1.6 billion people worldwide – nearly a quarter of the global population – are forced to pay bribes to gain access to everyday public services, according to a new book by academics at the Universities of Birmingham ...

Broken windows thesis springs a leak

7 hours ago

The broken windows theory posits that minor misdemeanors, like littering or graffiti spraying, stimulate more serious anti-social behavior. LMU sociologists now argue that the idea is flawed and does not ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.