Fantastic article in which the Royal Veterinary College strongly recommends the use of Biomechanic Gait Analysis alongside your Vet in order to discriminate clearly between ‘asymmetry’ and ‘lameness’ when assessing a horses gait.
The baseline assessment is taken before the start of your competitive season to form a key reference point to be referred back to throughout the season to monitor any changes in movement, track recovery after competitions and help keep you horse performing at their best. should upp need to call upon a vet, physio or ither professionls In the event of a vet/physio etc being required the report acts as an invaluable tool as a measure of thehorses ‘normal’ movement.
Below is a sample of a baseline assessment carried out on a successful Novice Level Event horse after his holidays before commencing fitness work for the season ahead. It was carried out at trot on flat concrete as this was most representative of the testing required to pass at FEI level Eventing. 5 Trials were carried out and the results are shown in the Quintic Gait Report below. The following summary document details the findings of this assessment.
•Extremely good symmetry in protraction and retraction particularly in the foreleg. The minimal levelling shown at the maximum protraction reflects the ‘flick’ at the toe.
•The maximum hindleg protraction also indicated very good symmetry (difference of ~3°) with the near hind very slightly trailing more than the off hind.
•The pattern of movement is very similar in both the near fore and off fore. However the near fore has slightly smaller angles (greatest difference of 6°) indicating the horse is more upright through their near shoulder and slightly more open though his off shoulder.
•The near elbow shows slightly more flexion than the off fore but similar levels of extension. This is related to the shoulder angles mentioned above.
•Good symmetrical extension at the knee and good degree of flexion of the fetlock for good shock absorption. The coronet angles shows a relatively deep difference in the angle throughout the stride indicating good activation.