Scientific Poster Presentations - CONFERENCE 2020 - PART 14

Updated: Feb 18

Hello and welcome to the penultimate part of my blog series on the Horses Inside Out Annual Conference 2020 – Anatomy In Action.

Today I would like to briefly share with you the Scientific Poster Presentation Area that was on display at the conference.

The posters were on display in the same room as the anatomy exhibition and there was plenty of time to browse the posters during the weekend of the conference in the breaks between presenters and at the beginning and end of the day.

The authors were also on hand throughout the morning and afternoon coffee breaks to answer any questions about their studies.

I thought it might be useful to list out the posters and a little bit about the research, and then if you would like to find out more you will have some of the detail to go out and search for.

There were 7 posters to explore:

1.   Does Using Technology in coaching accelerate a decrease in the novice horse rider’s asymmetry?

Author: J Berry

Summary: Technology is springing up all around us, with many of these becoming available to coaches through mobile application technologies.

Horse riding is a skill that takes many hours of practice to refine.

One of the skills novice horse riders need to perfect is sitting symmetrically in the saddle, this has been reviewed and beginners have been shown to have greater asymmetry than competent riders.

This persistent asymmetry can cause back pain and other health problems in the horse and increasing the speed at which it can be decreased should be a key aim of equitation coaches.

(Image not from actual study)

2.      The incidence of, and relationship between, distal limb and fascial asymmetry, and performance in the event horse

Author: K Lesniak

Summary: Identification of influential conformational traits is an important aspect in choosing the most appropriate horse for a specific discipline with regards to both performance potential and career longevity.

Symmetry of bilateral traits, both functional and non-functional, demonstrates the ability of an individual to display their genotypic quality through their phenotype.

External trait symmetry has been linked to effective functioning and health of a number of internal organ systems.

The identification of a relationship between bilateral trait symmetry and performance in the equine athlete could highlight important conformational indicators of potential future performance.

(Image not from actual study)

3.      The effect of heel studs on the kinematics of the equine hind-limb during the phase of retraction, whilst cantering on grass

Author: A Gibson and K Lesniak

Summary: Screw in heel studs are used throughout the equestrian industry with the purpose of enhancing hoof-ground interaction to optimise performance (Harvey et al., 2012).

Limited research is available regarding stud use and their effect on equine limb kinematics; however, suppositions can be made in relation to our knowledge of the effect of cleated footwear on human athlete limb kinematics throughout sport (Fulco et al., 2000).

The aim of this study was to assess whether the use of heel studs affected the kinematics of the equine hind-limb, during the phase of retraction, whilst cantering on grass.

(Image not from actual study)

4.      The Influence of body mass and height on equine hoof conformation and symmetry

Author: K Lesniak, L Whittington, S Mapletoft, K Hancox, S Draper, J Williams

Summary: Despite the likelihood that a horse’s mass influences hoof morphology, empirical evidence is lacking.

A clearer understanding of factors influencing the hoof shape could enable prevention, or better treatment of, foot based disorders; common causes of equine lameness.

The study’s aim was to investigate the relationships between horse body size, in terms of mass and height, and fore hoof dimensions.

A further aim was to determine changes in the occurrence of hoof asymmetry as body size increases.

(Image not from actual study)

5.      The effect of weekly water treadmill training on changes in the limb kinematics in a group of 38 horses during water treadmill exercise

Author: J Tacey, C Tranquille, I Deckers, R Meckechnie-Guire, K Nankervis, E Hopkins, R Murray

Summary: Increase in popularity of equine water treadmill (WT) usage for training/rehabilitation has highlighted a need to understand it’s long term effects on kinematics.

Carpal angle at mid-swing and mid-stance of 38 horses training weekly on a WT was measured and compared at weeks 0 and 20.

After 20 weeks of WT exercise, mid-swing carpal flexion was significantly greater than at week 0 (P=0.0001-0.0021 for dry, pastern, fetlock, proximal and distal to carpus water level).

No change at mid-stance was observed.

These findings suggest adaptation to the unique conditions created by WT exercise that needs consideration when designing effective, safe WT protocols.

(Image not from actual study)

6.      Investigations into the effects of McTimoney chiropractic treatment, Static Magnetic therapy and a combined treatment intervention on the Mechanical Nociceptive Threshold values in Thoroughbred Racehorses

Author: N Vorster, S Hedderly, S Charlton, A Hunnisett

Summary: Equine back pathologies are an ongoing concern within the equine industry.

Research supports an effect of chiropractic treatment on mechanical nociceptor thresholds (MNTs) but only varied subjective evidence into the effects of equine static magnetic rugs.

This study objectively assessed the influence of McTimoney chiropractic treatment compared with a static magnetic rug (1000 gaus) treatment and a combined chiropractic/magnetic rug treatment on MNTs of the thoracolumbar musculature of thoroughbred racehorses.

The results show a significant positive effect of chiropractic treatment with the use of a magnetic rug on the horse’s back on muscle sensitivity to pain compared to no treatment intervention for 14 days.

(Image not from actual study)

7.      A preliminary study of the effect of manual chiropractic treatment on laterality of mechanical nociceptive thresholds (MNTs) in thoroughbred racehorses

Author: L Goodright, S Charlton, S Trott, A Hunnisett

Summary: Spinal maniplulation using chiropractic techniques aims to improve joint function and restore musculoskeletal function.

Pressure algometry is an established measure of mechanical nociceptive thresholds (MNTs) to quantify musculoskeletal responses.

The study objectively assessed and compared the influence of manual chiropractic on left and right side MNTs of the thoracolumbar musculature for thoroughbred racehorses.

Results support evidence that manual chiropractic treatment reduces sensitivity to pain along the thoracic and lumbar musculature with independent laterality effects at different sites.

When investigating chiropractic effects on back musculature, independent assessment of left and right MNT measures is important to consider.

Further research is warranted.

Some interesting research and findings for sure.

It was great to have these resources included in the exhibits at the conference.

Lots to explore and discuss.

Now that brings us to the end of my blogs sharing with you all aspects of the conference.

In my final blog I am going to do a short round up including my ‘best bits’

Thanks so much for reading.

And thank you to Horses Inside Out for access to your professional images.

Jess | Jessica Limpkin Equine Massage Therapy

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