Hartpury Student Research Journal

Home » Issue 2 (Summer 2016) » Research Updates » Equine Update 15-16

Equine Update 15-16


This year, undergraduate and postgraduate students have presented work at the Alltech-Hartpury Student Conference 2016, the 12th International Society of Equitation Science, The British Society of Animal Science Conference and the International conference on Equine and Canine Locomotion.

A number of students presented research at the 12th International Society for Equitation Science Conference held at the French National Riding School in Saumur, France. Sian Ellis (MSc Equine Science) and Linda Greening presented research entitled ‘Positively reinforcing an operant task using tactile stimulation and food – a comparison in horses using clicker training’. Tracy Bye and Leah Palmer (MSc Equine Science) alongside their supervisor Linda Greening also presented their work entitled “A preliminary investigation which indicates the use of fore limb data has limitations in accurately determining laterality in horses”. Polly Stallard (BSc (Hons) Equestrian Sports Science), Lucy Dumbell and Victoria Lewis also presented work that compared the pressure exerted by a conventional square saddle pad and a novel wing saddle pad behind the saddle. Katie Baldwin (BSc (Hons) Equestrian Sport Science), Victoria Lewis and Lucy Dumbell presented work entitled ‘A preliminary study into elite event riders who compete with pain’.

Kathryn Lefrancois (BSc (Hons) Equine Science) presented her work evaluating the effects that water drag and buoyancy had on distal limb range of motion in a water treadmill compared to a dry treadmill at the International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion at the Royal Veterinary College in London. The study utilized inertial motion sensors housed in ‘aquapacs’ attached to the horses lower limbs. The study helps practitioners understand the implications of water treadmill exercise on the movement of both fore and hindlimbs and how this can be applied to make rehabilitation from injury more effective.

Hartpury students and staff attended the Alltech-Hartpury Student Conference 2016 at Hartpury University Centre. This annual event provides the opportunity to not only promote equine research but also allow student researchers to meet industry experts. A number of postgraduate and undergraduate students gave oral presentations. Alessya Kaiser (BSc (Hons) Equine Science) presented her work investigating the relationship between facial hair whorl topography and temperament of elite dressage horses in the auction ring, Poppy Newton-Clare (BSc (Hons) Equine Science) presented work looking at Egyptian working equid owners’ perceptions of animal welfare and Katie Robjohns (BSc (Hons) Equine Science) presented work investigating the difference between calculated daily energy requirements and actual energy daily intake via owner feed management. Ellie Callaghan (BSc (Hons) Equine Business Management) also presented a comparative case study on social media use within SMEs in the equine industry. Meganwy Roberts (BSc (Hons) Equestrian Sports Science) presented work looking at ‘Isometric muscular endurance of the trunk and thigh muscles in riders of the Olympic disciplines and non-riders’ and Jennifer Smith (BSc (Hons) Equine Science) presented work entitled ‘A comparison of the total range of movement of the metacarpal in sound and lame horses using inertial motion sensors’.



Poppy Stallard (BSc (Hons) Equestrian Sports Science) and Victoria Lewis attended the British Equestrian Trade Association’s annual trade fair in January supporting HRP Equestrian. HRP Equestrian won the ‘Innovation Award’ for their winged saddle pad. The work was followed up with two items in Horse and Hound.

Francesca Bradley (BSc (Hons) Equine Science) won a British Horse Foundation Bursary of £500 to work with the Society of Master Saddle Fitting Consultants (SMSFC) to find out how often horses are fitted with saddles that require the horse’s lumbar spine to weight bear. The bursary will be used to pay for ultrasound scanning by Three Counties Equine Hospital to confirm the dorsal spinous process of T18 in a group of horses to test the reliability and repeatability of the saddlers to find T18; before rolling this out to a much larger project ‘in the field’ involving a group of saddle fitters to obtain data for several hundred horses.