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: Scientists seen as competent but not trusted by Americans

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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 ...

What holds energy tech back? The infernal battery

Jan 23, 2013

As 21st century technology strains to become ever faster, cleaner and cheaper, an invention from more than 200 years ago keeps holding it back. It's why electric cars aren't clogging the roads and why Boeing's ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0