DescriptionEquine asymmetries have a high prevalence, with a frequency of up to 50%, in horses undergoing training and competing which could be detrimental to health and performance. Dynamic mobilisation exercises (DMEs) are proposed to have benefits for equine orthopaedic health and may reduce gait asymmetry. Movement symmetry (poll, withers, lumbar vertebra-1, tuber sacrale) was quantified with inertial measurement units (IMUs) in ten convenience sampled horses. Stride duration was also provided by the IMUs. All horses performed DMEs in a crossover design allowing comparison of control trot-ups to DME trot-ups. On day 1 group-2 received DME intervention prior to a trot-up, and group-1 performed a trot-up without DME intervention. After 8-days, these groups were crossed over. The DMEs were performed once immediately before the trot up by encouraging the horse’s chin to chest, carpus, fetlock and chin to hip and tarsus. Each movement was held for 6-10 s. Linear mixed models tested for significant differences (P<0.05) between the symmetry parameters of horses performing DMEs and controls. Vertical displacement data indicated that the difference between the two pelvic Min-Diff significantly reduced by 2.4 mm following DME intervention (P=0.016). Additionally, DMEs affected poll by reducing upwards amplitude (Up-Diff ) by 6.1 mm (P=0.031) and the withers Max-Diff increased by 1.9 mm (P=0.028). Lumbar vertebra-1 Min-Diff decreased following DMEs, from 4.4 to 1.3 mm (P=0.001), and a reduction in stride duration by 70.1 ms (P=0.031) was also seen following DMEs. This research suggests a reduction in poll, lumbar vertebra-1 and pelvic asymmetry may be achieved by performing DMEs.
|Event title||9th International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion|