Study Finds That Trailering Is A Full-Body Workout For Horses - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Study Finds That Trailering Is A Full-Body Workout For Horses

Many studies have been done on a horse's preferred position while traveling in a horse trailer, but not much is known on how the horse's body reacts while the trailer is in motion.

A research team led by Dr. Robert Colborne created a horse trailer that allowed them to study how a horse's body moves to compensate for trailer movement. They found that a horse's legs play a key role in dampening road vibrations from the trailer floor and helping a horse maintain his balance.

The study trailer had fitted force plates that allowed researchers to measure precisely how a horse moves in response to braking, turning, acceleration, and constant speed horses experience on a typical trailer trip. Two study horses were taken on a 56-mile trip that took 58 minutes to complete; it covered both city and country roads.

They discovered that in total, the horse's bodies moved over 228  and 320 feet vertically during the trip. Though these values seem large, the horse's movement was still less than the vertical movement of the trailer floor. This indicates that horse's use their legs as springs to dampen trailer vibrations.

The horses also adjusted their bodies horizontally to deal with braking. The team found that the horses moved 745 and 797 feet horizontally over the course of the trip. The horses swayed over 11 inches back and forth and side to side during the trip.

It is expected that as horses become more seasoned travelers that their energy expenditure to stay upright and maintain balance would decrease.

Read more here 

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