Saddle Research Trust Conference – Learnings in brief No1…
Recognition of Musculoskeletal Pain in the Ridden Horse
Presented by Sue Dyson
This is a whole horse ethogram developed for the ridden horse to determine pain & lameness.
The study identified 24 behavioural markers (made up of facial markers, body markers & gait markers). It was established that these markers are 10 times more likely to occur in a lame horse and a horse scoring 8 or more of these markers is likely to reflect musculoskeletal pain or Lameness.
Results showed that a ‘non’ lame horse scored a maximum of 6 out of 24 markers, the mean score being 2.
The Lame horses presented at maximum 14 out of 24 markers, the mean score being 9. Post resolution of lameness all scores reduced.
Interesting that Sue also highlighted in a study of 506 sports horses in normal work and presumed to be sound, 47% were overtly lame and had other gait abnormalities.
As saddle fitters we consider that the horse isn’t always being naughty or un willing on purpose but merely trying to communicate either its confusion, fear, discomfort or Pain.
SRT learnings No 2 follows tomorrow 👍🏻