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Written by Anouk van Breukelen

Image by: Anouk van Breukelen

Effect of rider weight on tölt quality in Icelandic horses

The Icelandic horse is commonly used for leisure riding and/ or sport. Commonly the riders are adults. Taking into consideration that Icelandic horses are small riding horses, the bodyweight ratio (BWR) between rider and horse is relatively high.

Duty factor and bipedal support increased with increasing BWR, whereas unipedal support decreased. In addition, stride length became shorter and more frequent with increasing BWR, which is undesirable. The other factors were not affected by BWR.

Expert opinion by Anouk van Breukelen

These results indicate the a higher rider bodyweight might negatively effect tölt quality in the Icelandic horse. However, the balance of the rider and their ability to follow the horses’ movement may also cause changes in gait quality and may not be comparable to dead weight. This should be analysed in future studies.

> From: Gunnarsson et al., Animal 11 (2017) 1567-1572. All rights reserved to The Animal Consortium 2017. Click here for the online summary.

Image by: Anouk van Breukelen

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