Below is a selection of some curated Biomechanic Research, all conducted by Centuar Biomechanics www.centaurbiomechanics.co.uk
- The kinematics of your horses’ limbs will change after just 2 hours of travel. That means your horse will move differently at your destination if he has been on the road for a minimum of 2 hours.
- It is ESSENTIAL that you cool your horses down on arrival at a competition to allow the postural stabilisers a chance to recover. An in-hand walk for 15-20 minutes is ideal.
- If you travel for 4 or more hours, your horse will have his worst performing day the 3rd day after arrival.
- Most pressure from girths is located behind the elbow
- Ergonomic girths; ones with more space for the elbow have proven to improve stride symmetry and have a 10-20% increase in Hindlimb protraction
- Any pressure over the TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) effects the symmetry of the hindlimbs
- If there is any interference of buckles or bonnets underneath one ear, the opposite foreleg will by asymmetrical in flexion and stride length
- Buckles at eye level can create a head tilt
- A Grackle noseband is the kindest in terms of pressure
- Crank nosebands provide good stability but there are problems with being able to over tighten them.
- The horses back expands 30 mins after exercise and again after another 30 mins. This asks the question of how should we be fitting saddles?
- A saddle that is too narrow can impinge the most active part of the Longissimus muscle. If pressure here can be reduced, the hindlimb can improve by 22%
- A saddle that is too wide creates a de-stabilising effect on the horse, which will effect his locomotion.
- Saddle slippage requires a multi-pronged approach to remedy; is it the saddle? the horse? the rider? is it a combination of all 3? Find Your Tribe to get a solution. You need your saddle fitter and your bodyworker working together to solve this one.
- Foam and wool reduce the most pressure
- Gel do no reduce as much pressure
This is the load that can be applied to something before it breaks.
For example, a lift often has a safety factor of 10; this means it will tolerate 10x its maximal load; when it says only 20 people allowed in, it will be able to carry 10 x this many people before failure.
For the horse at full gallop, his safety factor is only 1.5 times his maximal load.
The horse only has 10,000 loading cycles before the bones and tendons wear out.
Each step really does count!