Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Special Horseshoes Measure Acceleration In Horses, Evaluate Methods of Rehabilitation

Date:
July 7, 2008
Source:
Society for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Scientists have carried out studies both into the advantages of different rider techniques in reducing injury risk to horses, and into the benefits of a method of equine rehabilitation. By using computer modelling and specialist horseshoes to measure acceleration, these investigations suggest that aqua-training rehabilitation methods are beneficial whereas rising trot may not be as advantageous as previously thought.

The most frequent injuries that horses suffer are derived from pressure exerted by riders, and knowing which forces are involved when horses move can prove highly informative when considering treatment for such injuries. A team of scientists from Wageningen University, led by Professor Johan van Leeuwen, has carried out studies both into the advantages of different rider techniques in reducing injury risk, and into the benefits of a method of equine rehabilitation.

By using computer modelling and specialist horseshoes to measure acceleration, these investigations suggest that aqua-training rehabilitation is beneficial due to lower impact accelerations. However, rising trot may not be as advantageous as previously thought.

Rehabilitation after equine joint and muscle injuries, including those of the back, shoulders and legs, now often involves 'aquatraining', whereby horses move in water-filled treadmills. Due to buoyancy, this treatment is currently thought to reduce weight-bearing forces, which can otherwise have detrimental effects on joints, but to date there has been a virtual absence of studies into the magnitude of these benefits.

Professor van Leeuwen's team has used special horseshoes to measure accelerations of horses undergoing aquatraining, as well as walking normally, which provide a good indication of the impact forces involved. "Our results, based on data from seven horses, show the accelerations are significantly lower during 'aquatic walking'," he asserts. "We will be carrying out further experiments to confirm these results, but at this stage, it appears that aquatraining may indeed be beneficial for rehabilitation after joint injury."

Professor van Leeuwen and his colleagues have also used specialised force gauges to measure the strain placed on the backs of horses through the saddle and stirrups. These measurements have been combined with the output of computer models to provide insight into the mechanisms that a rider can use to respond to the movements of a horse, and to prevent injury.

"We have given particular attention to the comparison of sitting and rising trot, as it is broadly accepted in the equestrian world that rising trot imposes less loading on the back of the horse," Professor van Leeuwen explains. "However, our results have not been able to confirm the belief that rising trot is mechanically less demanding for the horse. Looking at back extension, which is most often related to back injuries, we found that the extension of the back is similar in rising and sitting trot."

Results will be presented on Monday 7th July at the Society for Experimental Biology's Annual Meeting in Marseille.

This work involved collaboration with the Department of Equine Sciences, Utrecht University, the Mary Anne McPhail Equine Performance Center, Michigan State University and the Dutch Equestrian Centre.

Background

  • Equine aquatraining, employing water-filled treadmills, is used in rehabilitation regimes when horses begin to exercise after injury. Depending on the condition of the horse, different workloads can be obtained by regulating water level and walking velocity.
  • Sitting trot is a technique whereby the rider keeps their seat in the saddle constantly.
  • Rising trot involves rising out of the saddle and lowering back down on alternate beats of the trotting gait.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Experimental Biology. "Special Horseshoes Measure Acceleration In Horses, Evaluate Methods of Rehabilitation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080707100208.htm>.
Society for Experimental Biology. (2008, July 7). Special Horseshoes Measure Acceleration In Horses, Evaluate Methods of Rehabilitation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080707100208.htm
Society for Experimental Biology. "Special Horseshoes Measure Acceleration In Horses, Evaluate Methods of Rehabilitation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080707100208.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins