DescriptionThe sternum lift (StL) exercise aims to raise the sternum and withers within the thoracic sling. This study compared thoracolumbar posture induced by a StL and different head and neck positions (HNPs). Fourteen clinically normal sport horses (163±8 cm) were measured with nose level with shoulder joint (HNP1), carpus (HNP2) and withers (HNP3) and during a StL whilst in HNP1. Skin-fixated markers on spinous processes of T6, T10, T13, T17, L3; mid-tuber sacrale (MTS) and sternum: cranial (S1), mid (S2) and caudal (S3) were tracked with nine motion capture cameras (100 Hz). Differences in dorsoventral displacement of markers and distance T6 to MTS (TLSD) between HNP1-StL, HNP1-HNP2 and HNP1-HNP3 were compared using paired t-tests (significance level P<0.05). Relative to HNP1 dorsal displacement was greatest in StL at T10, T13, T17, S1 and S3 (means: +5.61±1.56 cm (P=0.000); +6.20±1.65 cm (P=0.000); +5.30±1.79 cm (P=0.000); +6.05±1.78 cm (P=0.175); +5.92±2.44 cm (P=0.171); and higher in StL compared to HNP2 in relation to withers height (mean +2.29%, P=0.001). In HNP2, there was greatest dorsal movement at T10, T13 and S3 (means: +1.29±1.02 cm (P=0.001); +0.96±1.07 cm (P=0.007); +1.34±1.45 cm (P=0.008), with other markers having ventral movement: T6, S1 and S2 (means: -0.97±1.09 cm (P=0.007); -5.48±2.72 cm (P=0.000); -1.89±1.50 cm (P=0.001)). HNP3 resulted in a mean ventral movement of all spinal markers (-0.22±1.18 cm). HNP2 had a significant longer TLSD (mean: +4.70±1.91 cm) compared to the StL (mean +2.62±1.95 cm) (P=0.006). The StL creates dorsal movement of the thoracic sling, while ventral movement occurs when lowering the head. This supports using StL as part of core strengthening exercises for horses.
|Event title||9th International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion|