Helen took part in a Study of Pain Behaviour in Ridden Horses

The Animal Health Trust Centre for Equine Studies held a study on pain behaviour in ridden horses at World Horse Welfare‘s Norfolk Headquarters. Riders, owners and their horses, and professional practitioners volunteered their time to support this vital study which has amazing implications to improve horse welfare in the future. The smooth running programme saw horses first assessed by ACPAT physiotherapist Jo Spear for back palpation and then SMS Saddle Fitter Liz Suddaby checked the fit, placement, balance and suitability of saddles, before a 15 minute ridden warm-up leading up to the 8 min dressage test. The horses were scored by the team of equine vets for the presence of 24 behaviours which may reflect pain. The tests were filmed by Saddle Research Trust director, Dr Anne Bondi so that comparison between real-time behaviour assessments and video analysis can be made by Dr Sue Dyson, and so that Dr Anne Bondi can score rider skill level. The eleven equine vets, who assessed the behaviour, led by AHT’s Dr Sue Dyson said that it was one of the best days of continual professional development that they had ever had and that they would change their procedures for both pre-purchase examinations and investigations of either lameness or poor performance in the future. Dr Sue Dyson, who developed this study said: “It was somewhat disappointing and disturbing that there was such a high proportion of lame horses, but it did serve to demonstrate the very clear behavioural differences between the lame and non-lame horses.” This is from https://srt2018.com/2018/07/27/a-concentration-of-equine-vets/