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Addressing weight load and welfare concerns in horses

Summary: Researchers will evaluate the effects of increased weight loads carried by horses to provide science-based recommendations to the equine industry and address potential welfare concerns.

Description: Numerous recommendations for maximum weight loads a horse can carry (including rider and tack) are used for many equine events. These recommendations often lack scientific support and vary greatly depending on the source, discipline, and even by country. Researchers will evaluate the effects of varying weight loads on horses, by measuring and analyzing gait characteristics such as stride length, joint range of motion, and joint angles. Results will be used to support or revise existing recommendations for horses involved in various equine events, gauge equine performance, and protect animals from carrying potentially harmful loads.


INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Kelly W Walter, Truman State University