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Science Corner

Improve Your Riding and Confidence

September 2014

One man’s vision to bring horse owners and world-class practitioners, physiotherapists, saddlers, psychologists and coaches together resulted in the conference aimed at meeting the needs of the British horse owner. Titled ‘Improve Your Riding and Confidence’, the conference was the brainchild of Russell Guire, founder of Centaur Biomechanics, a company specialising in horse and rider performance analysis. 

Desensitised Mares Raise Calmer Foals

September 2014

Can mares transmit habituation to scary or novel objects to their foals? Janne Christensen, PhD, from Aarhus University in Denmark presented 'Social transmission of habituation from mares to their foals'...A report from the 10th International Equitation Science Conference (ISES) - 'Equine Stress, Learning and Training' - held in Denmark on August 7-9th 2014.

Is Elastic Fantastic? The Impact of Elastic Inserts on Rein Tension

September 2014

Is elastic fantastic? The impact of elastic inserts on rein tension...A report from the 10th International Equitation Science Conference (ISES) - 'Equine Stress, Learning and Training' - held in Denmark on August 7-9th 2014. Elastic has been used over the years to achieve ‘give’ and flexibility in equestrian equipment, such as girths and reins. The reins provide a physical means for the delivery of signals/aids from the human to the horse.

New study links ill-fitting saddles with back pain in both, horses and riders

August 2014

Ill-fitting saddles are not only associated with back muscle asymmetry, a stilted gait and back pain in the horse but they are also associated with back pain in the rider.  These are the key conclusions from a new study looking at saddle fit, back shape and horse as well as rider health.

Motion technology aids horse rider assessment

August 2014

New research by Elizabeth Gandy, a senior lecturer in the University of Sunderland's Department of Computing, Engineering and Technology, shows the horse riders’ balance, symmetry and poor posture could be improved by an innovative body suit that works with inertial motion sensors, commonly used by movie makers and the video game industry. The XsensTM MVN body suit demonstrates positive results as a method of assessing rider asymmetry that leads to back pain and injury risk.

UK Veterinarians Warn of Impending Multi-Drug Resistance in Worms

August 2014

A recent paper published in the International Journal for Parasitology has confirmed that egg reappearance periods after treatment are shortening - an early indicator that worms are developing resistance to anthelmitic drugs. The lack of any new worming compounds on the horizon is driving researchers to find better ways to manage worms in domestic horses.  

The Back and Beyond: Part 2

July 2014

In this month’s article, Lisa Ashton summarises two other top presentations from the 7th Horses Inside Out Conference, which was held at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, United Kingdom.  Titled ‘The Back and Beyond’, the conference gave 200 therapists, saddlers, coaches, veterinarians and practitioners the chance to immerse themselves in two days of presentations that highlighted how a deep understanding of anatomy and biomechanics is not just for therapists, but should be a part of every horse owner and trainer’s education.

Is foaling a stressful time for mares?

July 2014

Study finds giving birth a very different experience in horses and humans.   Foaling in horses is extremely fast. Labour and the active part of foaling that results in the delivery of the foal, takes between 10 and 20 minutes, considerably shorter time than giving birth in humans or in cows. But, is this brief period stressful for the animals or are horses more relaxed than humans when giving birth?

Flair Nasal Strip Reduces Lung Damage

July 2014

Amid continuing debate on the decision to allow Thoroughbred racehorse California Chrome to wear a nasal strip in the Belmont Stakes, two researchers at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine have found nasal strips can have health benefits for horses. Professor emeritus of anatomy and physiology Howard Erickson and Professor of kinesiology, anatomy and physiology David Poole have found the Flair nasal strip, commonly used in the racing industry, can help reduce lung damage in horses.

The Back and Beyond: Part 1

June 2014

With the incessant rains and floods spreading across most of the United Kingdom, I was delighted to have the opportunity of submerging myself in the latest scientific findings relating to the horse’s back at the 7th Horses Inside Out Conference which was held at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, United Kingdom. 

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