2017 Student Research Conference:
30th Annual Student Research Conference

Effect of Weight Load on Stride Characteristics of Horses as Measured at the Trot.

Rachel L. Smith
Dr. Kelly Walter, Faculty Mentor

Equestrians accept various maximum weight-loads; however, they lack scientific support. This study evaluated the effects of applied weight at 15%, 20%, and 25% BW on trotting Quarter horses using gait analysis software. We hypothesized that a 25% load would result in shorter stride length, and increased knee action. Six horses were used in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin Square design. Horses were weighed to determine BW and calculate random lead weight loads at 15%, 20%, or 25% BW. Horses were evaluated daily at 0% BW preceding treatment. Video was analyzed for stride length and fetlock angle in the thoracic and pelvic limbs, and carpal angle. Weight load did not influence fetlock angle or stride length (p > 0.05) in either limb. Carpal angle was smaller (p < 0.05) at the 25% BW load, suggesting greater knee action with heavier loads. Further research should investigate carrying loads for extended periods.

Keywords: Equine, Equestrian, Horse, Agriculture, Weight-Load, Animal Welfare

Topic(s):Agricultural Science

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 2-
Location: GEO - SUB

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