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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Normal variation in pelvic roll motion pattern during straight-line trot in hand in warmblood horses

Byström, A.; Hardeman, A.M.; Engell, M.T.; Swagemakers, J.H.; Koene, M.H.W.; Serra-Bragança, F.M.; Rhodin, M.; Hernlund, E.

Abstract

In horses, hip hike asymmetry, i.e. left–right difference in hip upwards movement during hind limb protraction in trot, is a crucial lameness sign. Vertical hip movements are complex, influenced by both pelvic roll and pelvic vertical motion. Veterinarians find it challenging to identify low-grade lameness, and knowledge of normal variation is a prerequisite for discerning abnormalities. This study, which included 100 clinically sound Warmblood horses, aimed to describe normal variation in pelvic roll stride patterns. Data were collected during straight-line trot in hand using optical motion capture. Stride-segmented pelvic roll data, normalised with respect to time (0–100% of the stride) and amplitude (± 0.5 of horse average stride range of motion), were modelled as a linear combination of sine and cosine curves. A sine curve with one period per stride and a cosine curve with three periods per stride explained the largest proportions of roll motion: model estimate 0.335 (p < 0.01) and 0.138 (p < 0.01), respectively. Using finite mixture models, the horses could be separated into three groups sharing common pelvic roll characteristics. In conclusion, pelvic roll motion in trot follows a similar basic pattern in most horses, yet there is significant individual variation in the relative prominence of the most characteristic features.

Published in

Scientific Reports
2023, Volume: 13, number: 1, article number: 17117Publisher: NATURE PORTFOLIO