Key movements to observe when assessing quality of movement in horses

  • Annette G. Bowen (Speaker)
  • Hayley Randle (Speaker)
  • Raphael Labens (Speaker)
  • Tabor, G. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference


Equine physiotherapy and rehabilitation address movement dysfunction. Whilst there are measures for lameness and pain, there are currently no outcome measures for assessing the quality of functional movement. Creating a new outcome measure for quality of movement will improve the ability to monitor treatment efficacy, therefore enhancing evidence-based practice. The aim of this study was to explore which are the most commonly observed in-hand movements during assessment of horses for performance management and rehabilitation. In addition, opinions of goal setting tools and methods to monitor complex functional movements were investigated. An online survey of equine sports medicine veterinarians, physiotherapists and equine allied health professionals was distributed by professional associations, gaining responses from 81 equine clinicians. Descriptive statistics, chi square analysis and ANOVA along with thematic analysis of free-text responses was performed. Twenty-four in-hand movements were identified as being used more frequently than others. The movements chosen were based on the individual case presentation and barriers to their use include access to facilities and the training level of the horse and handler. To measure complex functional movements 81.6% agreed or strongly agreed a modified Patient-Specific Functional Scale would be useful. Despite challenges in the field, a key group of in-hand movements are routinely used to observe equine quality of movement. Equine clinicians do their best to record changes in movement and have a strong desire for more relevant outcome measures. These results will assist in developing a simple field based scoring system for quality of movement in horses.
Period17 Apr 2024
Event titleThe Animal Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Conference
Event typeConference
LocationAbingdon, United KingdomShow on map