Noticing Asymmetry Under Saddle? The Solution Could Come From A Single Bell Boot

Though all horses have some degree of asymmetry, a rider can make a slight asymmetry better by placing something loose around the fetlock of the weaker leg, according to a report from the archives of The Horse. The horse will feel it and work harder to engage his limb, said Dr. Adrian P. Harrison, who works with Copenhagen University in Denmark.

The fix could be as simple as occasionally using a bell boot on the weaker leg; the boot uses proprioception to remind the horse that the weaker leg is still there. Proprioception is the awareness of body parts, and knowing and remembering where they are and what they are doing. The bell boot helps a horse “remember” his leg is there.

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This correction could resolve issues relating to an old injury or dominant limb. Old injuries can sometimes cause horses to be unwilling to fully engage a limb for fear of pain; the bell boot trick helps them realize they are pain free.

Harrison created a study using eight sound dressage horses that had slightly weaker left hind limbs when measured using acoustic myography (AMG). AMG measures how muscle and ligament fibers move, and how much power the central nervous system must exert to get a muscle to contract.

Riders of the horses placed a cob-sized bell boot on the horse’s weaker limb when the horse was ridden for 60 minutes every three days for six weeks. At the end of the study, AMG shows that the asymmetries had resolved.

Read more at The Horse.

The post Noticing Asymmetry Under Saddle? The Solution Could Come From A Single Bell Boot appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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