Vets Give New Equine Performance Assessment Method Thumbs Up

Veterinarians have tested a new method for assessing equine performance with positive results.
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Assessing poor performance in horses
Physiotherapist Jo Spear assessed all horses’ backs for any areas of muscle tightness or discomfort during the study. | Photo: Courtesy Saddle Research Trust

Veterinarians have tested a new method for assessing equine performance with positive results.

Sue Dyson, MA, VetMB, PhD, DEO, Dipl. ECVSMR, FRCVS, head of Clinical Orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust Centre for Equine Studies, in Newmarket, U.K., assessed how accurately vets can use an ethogram1, which she developed, to assess pain in ridden horses. The participating veterinarians collectively commended the ethogram’s value, which defines 24 ridden behaviors that could reflect pain and lameness.

Dyson conducted the study July 21 at World Horse Welfare’s center in Norfolk, U.K. Twenty horse and rider combinations, together with a range of professional practitioners, volunteered their time to participate

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