Historically, assessing the severity of lameness has been a matter of opinion. The various gait analysis systems that are now available provide a more objective way of doing so.
Quantitative gait analysis involves the use of electronic sensors, enabling the assignment of numerical values to motion, with the application of kinetics and kinematics.
Interest in gait analysis has grown; it now has applications beyond the pure assessment of lameness. Gait analysis is being used to assess the value of new therapies and in scientific studies that have implications for horse health and welfare.
The exceptional capacity of the horse’s locomotor system largely led to its domestication as a working, sport and leisure animal. It has resulted in a continuing fascination with equine performance, whether physiologically in terms of footfall patterns in different gaits or pathologically, when locomotion may be impaired.
Articles on gait analysis that have been published in the Equine Veterinary Journal, have now been brought together in one place. This virtual collection will be free to view online for one year from 4th October 2019.
Topics covered include:
- Combined influence of expertise and fatigue on riding strategy and horse-rider coupling during the time course of endurance races
- Head and pelvic movement asymmetry during lungeing horses with symmetrical movement on the straight
- Does ‘hacking’ surface type affect equine forelimb foot placement, movement symmetry or hoof impact deceleration during ridden walk and trot exercise?
“We have now reached a stage in which technical developments have permitted the introduction of user-friendly quantitative gait analysis techniques in clinical practice,” says Professor René van Weeren, who jointly edited the collection with Dr. Constanza Gómez Álvarez.
“Accuracy and reliability of these techniques have increased to improve our performance in the assessment and monitoring of equine locomotor performance. However, these developments also urge us to reconsider our position as clinicians and pose new challenges in terms of interpretation of the data that are generated.”
Professor Celia Marr, Editor of the EVJ said: “The breadth and substance of this research shows how far we have advanced with equine quantitative gait analysis. It has moved far beyond solely being a tool for objective lameness assessment and continues to develop as an exciting method for the support of equine welfare and performance.”
Dr. Constanza Gómez Álvarez added: “Today, objective, quantitative gait analysis in the horse has outgrown the laboratory and is infiltrating all horse-related activities.”
The virtual collection is available at: