Editor’s note: This article is part of TheHorse.com’s ongoing coverage of topics presented at the 2012 International Society of Equitation Science conference, held July 18-20 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Technology advancements have allowed enormous improvements in understanding how horses and riders interact via pressure, tension, balance, and more. But despite their many benefits, these technological tools can be complicated to use properly and might not be readily available to the people who might benefit from them the most: riders and riding instructors.

That’s about to change.

Using video gaming technology, British equitation scientist and computer programmer Elizabeth Gandy, MSc, MBCS, of the University of Sunderland, has developed a user-friendly software program to help nonscientists evaluate a very common riding problem: asymmetry. She presented her new program at the 2012 International Society for Equitation Science Conference, on July 18-20 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

"We know there’s asymmetry there, between the horse, rider, and saddle; virtually every rider can feel it, and even when they can’t (feel it), the coach can see it," Gandy said during her presentation. "But that asymmetry needs specific scientific assessment. We wanted to develop a program that would take all the things that scientists can do and bring them into one system, one that’s accessible to non-scientists."

Gandy, herself a para-equestrian with her own particular symmetry issues related to her physical challenges, first developed a prototype of the software as a "summer vacation proje