Researchers Validate Portable Device for Measuring Equine Postural Stability

Lameness and neurologic disorders can impact equine postural stability—how a horse holds himself up in a standing position—and measuring it can help veterinarians diagnose certain disorders.

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Equine Postural Stability Device
A more convenient, more readily available, and far less expensive handheld device can allow more veterinarians—and more horses—can to benefit from the knowledge gained through postural stability measurements. | Photo: Courtesy Dr. Valerie Moorman

The arsenal of portable technology equine veterinarians can carry and use in the field just keeps getting bigger. Researchers recently determined that portable media device (PMD) that straps to a horse’s back is just as accurate as pressure force plates for measuring equine postural stability in certain cases.

Lameness and neurologic disorders can impact equine postural stability—how a horse holds himself up in a standing position. In both humans and horses, researchers have noticed that individuals showing postural instability are more likely to fall, have musculoskeletal pain, and/or experience reduced neurologic feedback, making them less able to control their gaits.

Measuring postural stability can not only help diagnose certain disorders, but also give insight about how treatment is working over time, said Valerie Moorman, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS-LA, assistant professor of equine surgery and lameness at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, in Fort Collins

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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