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improving performance
Scientifically proven
Scientific papers have been published on three of our products.
Dr. Rachel Murray from the Animal Health Trust led the writing on each of the papers:
The Fairfax Performance Bridle
(Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 35 (2015) 947-955)
Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 35 (2015) 947–955
The Fairfax Performance Panel
(Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 54 (2017) 60–69)
Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 54 (2017) 60–69
The Fairfax Performance Girth
(Veterinary Journal 198-1 (2013) 92-97)
The Veterinary Journal xxx (2013) xxx–xxx
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
The Veterinary Journal
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/tvjl
Original Research
A Bridle Designed to Avoid Peak Pressure Locations Under the Headpiece and Noseband Is Associated With More Uniform Pressure and Increased Carpal and Tarsal Flexion, Compared With the Horse’s Usual Bridle
Rachel Murray a, *, Russell Guire b, Mark Fisher c, Vanessa Fairfax d
a Centre for Equine Studies, Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, UK
b Centaur Biomechanics, Moreton Morrell, UK
c British Equestrian Federation Consultant Master Saddler, Wisbech, UK d Fairfax Saddles Ltd, Walsall, UK
articleinfo abstract
Original Research
Reducing Peak Pressures Under the Saddle Panel at the Level of the 10th to 13th Thoracic Vertebrae May Be Associated With Improved Gait Features, Even When Saddles Are Fitted to Published Guidelines
Rachel Murray a, *, Russell Guire b, Mark Fisher c, Vanessa Fairfax d
a Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Newmarket, UK
b Centaur Biomechanics, Moreton Morrell, UK
c British Equestrian Federation Consultant Master Saddler, Wisbech, UK d Fairfax Saddles Ltd, Walsall, UK
articleinfo abstract
capture in trot was used to determine forelimb and hind limb protraction, and maximal carpal and tarsal flexion during flight. Under the headpiece, bridle S peak pressure was 106.7% (mean) greater than that of bridle F, and bridle S maximum force was 59.7% greater than that of bridle F. Under the noseband, bridle S peak pressure was 47.8% greater than
capture, and difference in thoracolumbar dimensions (T8, T18 at 3, 15 cm) between before and after exercise was compared between S and F. Peak pressures were consistently detected axially around T10–T13 (sensors A4–A7, H4–H7). Peak pressures were signifi- cantly less with F than S for each cell and pooled (55%–68% difference. P 1⁄4 .01 to <.0001). Saddle F was associated with 13% greater forelimb and 22.7% hindlimb protraction, 3.5
under the girth, and improved limb protraction and carpal/ tarsal flexion, which may reflect improved posture and comfort.
Ó 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Article history:
Received 9 November 2016
Received in revised form 27 February 2017 Accepted 27 February 2017
Available online 6 March 2017
Keywords:
Biomechanics Equine Saddle
Gait analysis Pressure mat
Saddle–horse interaction is increasingly linked with back pain, performance, and welfare issues. Saddle fit and work quality influence alterations in back shape with exercise at thoracic vertebra 13 level (T13) with exercise. The objectives of experiments were to: determine a repeatable zone and stride point of peak pressure under saddles fitted to industry guidelines; compare peak pressure in this zone and limb kinematics in collected trot between horses own saddles (S) and a saddle designed to reduce pressure at T10–T13 (F); compare thoracolumbar width change after exercise between S and F and with F after 3 months use. Elite dressage (n 1⁄4 13) horses/riders with no lameness/performance problem had pressure mat data acquired under S, fitted by four qualified saddle fitters, to determine zones of peak pressure. Pressure mat data at T10–T13, forelimb/hindlimb protraction, and carpal/tarsal flexion acquired using simultaneous high-speed motion
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Journal of Equine Veterinary Science
journal homepage: www.j-evs.com
Girth pressure measurements reveal high peak pressures that can be avoided using an alternative girth design that also results in increased limb protraction and flexion in the swing phase
Rachel Murray a,⇑, Russell Guire b, Mark Fisher c, Vanessa Fairfax d
a b c d
Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket CB8 7UU, UK
Centaur Biomechanics, Moreton Morrell CV35 9BB, UK
British Equestrian Federation Consultant Master Saddler, Leverington, Wisbech PE13 5BU, UK Fairfax Saddles Ltd, Fryers Road, Bloxwich, Walsall WS3 2XJ, UK
article info
Article history:
Accepted 21 July 2013 Available online xxxx
Keywords:
Biomechanics Equine
Girth Performance Thoracic
abstract
Girths are frequently blamed for veterinary and performance problems, but research into girth/horse interaction is sparse. The study objectives were (1) to determine location of peak pressure under a range of girths, and (2) to compare horse gait between the horse’s standard girth and a girth designed to avoid detected peak pressure locations. In the first part of the study, and following validation procedures, a cal- ibrated pressure mat placed under the girth of 10 horses was used to determine the location of peak pres- sures. A girth was designed to avoid peak pressure locations (Girth F). In the second part, 20 elite horses/ riders with no lameness or performance problem were ridden in Girth F and their standard girth (Girth S) in a double blind crossover design. Pressure mat data were acquired from under the girths. High speed video was captured and forelimb and hindlimb protraction, maximal carpal and tarsal flexion during flight were determined in trot. In standard girths, peak pressures were located over the musculature behind the elbow.
Pressure mat results revealed that the maximum forces with Girth S were 22% (left) and 14% (right) greater than Girth F, and peak pressures were 76% (left) and 98% (right) greater (P < 0.01 for all). On gait evaluation, Girth F was associated with 6–11% greater forelimb protraction, 10–20% greater hindlimb protraction, 4% greater carpal flexion, and 3% greater tarsal flexion than Girth S (P < 0.01 for all). Peak pressures were located where horses tend to develop pressure sores. Girth F reduced peak pressures
Article history:
Received 23 June 2015
Received in revised form 28 August 2015 Accepted 29 August 2015
Available online 7 September 2015
Keywords:
Biomechanics Equine
Bridle
Gait analysis Pressure mat
Bits are frequently blamed for veterinary and performance problems, but there is minimal other research into bridle and horse interaction. Study objectives were to (1) determine sites of maximum pressure under a double bridle headpiece, and under a crank cavesson noseband in trot using a pressure mat; (2) design a headpiece and crank cavesson nose- band combination that avoids maximal pressure locations during movement; and (3) compare maximum pressure and gait characteristics of horses wearing the designed bridle (bridle F) with their usual bridle (bridle S). In part 1, peak pressure locations were determined using calibrated pressure mats under the headpiece (n 1⁄4 8 horses) and noseband (n 1⁄4 10). In part 2, 12 elite horses and riders with no lameness or performance problem were ridden in bridle F and bridle S in a double blind crossover design. Pressure mat data was acquired from under the headpiece and noseband. High speed motion
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Journal of Equine Veterinary Science
journal homepage: www.j-evs.com
1. Introduction
Contact and performance problems in horses are frequently attributed to the type of bit used, and there has been a variety of research into horse interaction with the bit
* Corresponding author at: Rachel Murray, Centre for Equine Studies, Gareth Hughes &
Ó 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
[1–3]. Interaction between the horse and other parts of the bridle appears to have been relatively neglected even though problems are often not resolved by alterations in bitting.
1. Introduction
Animal Health Trust, Newmarket CB8 7UU, UK.
E-mail address: rachel.murray@aht.org.uk (R. Murray).
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during sitting trot has been reported [6]. Better abdominal,
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design that also results in increased limb protraction and flexion in the swing phase. The Veterinary Journal (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/ j.tvjl.2013.07.028
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that of bridle F, and bridle S maximum force was 41.2% greater than that of Bridle F. On gait evaluation, bridle F had 4.1%, 3.5%, and 4.2% greater carpal flexion, tarsal flexion, and forelimb protraction than those of bridle S. These findings suggest an association between reduced peak pressures and improved gait, which may indicate improved comfort for the horse.
greater carpal and 4.3 tarsal flexion (P 1⁄4 .02 to .0001), and greater increase in thoracolumbar dimensions after exercise (P 1⁄4 .01 to <.0001). Saddles fitted to published guidelines may still have a nonideal interface with horses. Reducing peak pressures around T10–T13 was associated with improved limb kinematics in trot and greater thoracolumbar expansion after exercise.
Ó 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
issues [1–4]. Recent studies have shown that alterations in back shape under the saddle at thoracic vertebra 13 level (T13) with exercise were influenced by saddle fit and work quality [5]. Back width after ridden exercise increased when horses were ridden more correctly, in better fitting
Introduction
Girths are frequently blamed for veterinary and performance problems, but research into girth/horse interaction is sparse. It has long been accepted that girth galls (or sores) may occur when a dirty or poorly fitting girth is used or overused, and the location that is accepted as a high risk area is the skin of the axilla, caudal to the olecranon (Smythe, 1959; Rose, 1982; Fraser, 1992; Lloyd et al., 2003; Pusey et al., 2010). Muscles that lie under the girth are in- volved in locomotion and maintenance of posture, so excessive pressure or restriction of these muscle groups could potentially have a negative effect on movement patterns (Pilliner et al., 2002; Wyche, 2003; Wright, 2010). However, there has been no
previous reported investigation into the pattern of pressure distribution under girths and whether this could be alleviated to reduce the potential for development of injury or to improve performance.
The objectives of this study were (1) to determine the sites of maximum pressure under different girths in horses in trot using a pressure mat; (2) to design a girth that avoids sites of maximal pressure during movement, and (3) to compare the maximum pressure and gait characteristics of horses wearing the designed girth with those in the same horses wearing their usual girths. It was hypothesised (1) that there are repeatable locations of maximum pressure under different girth designs; (2) that use of a girth designed to avoid locations of maximum pressure does re- duce maximum pressure compared to the horse’s usual girth, and (3) that use of the designed girth leads to greater stride length, carpal and tarsal flexion in trot compared to the horse’s usual girth.
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Saddle–horse interaction is increasingly recognized as associated with back pain, poor performance, and welfare
Traditional bridle design positions the parts of the bridle
over various anatomic prominences and moving parts of
the head, whereas the ridden horse is often asked to * Corresponding author at: Rachel Murray, Animal Health Trust, Lan- saddles and with a more skilled rider. A relationship be-
Rebecca Hughes & Henriette Andersen &
Spencer Wilton &
Daniel Timson &
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⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +44 1638 751908.
E-mail address: rachel.murray@aht.org.uk (R. Murray).
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