Science & Equine

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Written by Sophie Delemarre

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Movements of the saddle in relation to the horse's back

Previous investigations, which were mainly observational in nature, showed that the lateral movement of the saddle can say something about lameness. And especially lameness of the hind leg. The more wide the riders (barrel shaped), the more they influence the lateral movement of the saddle. The equestrian has the least influence on the mobility of the saddle whilst in sitting trot.

Several results have emerged from this study, such as the fact that rising trot does have a greater influence on the (lateral) movement of the saddle. What this study also found is that the total amount of lateral movement for these riders is minimal. The movement of the saddle increased whilst in rising trot. It is difficult to measure the degree of motion with just the eye, so the researchers recommend to observe equestrians by video recording when in need of a objective assessment.

Are you able to feel whether your horse is lame? Or do you need a vet to help you check what's wrong?

Expert opinion by Sophie Delemarre

It is possible that the small lateral shift the researchers found is due to the level of training of these equestrians. I would  like to see a follow-up study to examine what ranges are normal based on the level of the rider.

> From: Byström et al., PLoS One 13(7) (2018) 1-14 (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Byström et al.. Click here for the online summary.

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