Thursday, September 11, 2014

How Do Different Saddles Impact Horses' Movement? - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Aug 12, 2014

As scientists seek to improve their knowledge of different saddles’ effects on horses, Swiss researchers have been focusing their attention on how various saddles influence—or don't influence—horses' movement.

Saddle type did not appear to impact movement in a group of Icelandic horses, said Katja Geser-von Peinen, DVM, clinical researcher in the Department of Sports Medicine at the Equine Clinic of Vetsuisse Faculty, in Zurich, Switzerland. The team chose to study Icelandic horses because their shoulder movement—often thought to be impeded by saddles—is considered an important criterion in their special gaits, including the four-beat tölt.

“Icelandic horse riders often think that the right saddle can free up the shoulder and give better movement, but our research shows that the kind of saddle doesn’t affect that at all,” she told The Horse...

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