University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna - Research portal

Diagrammed Link to Homepage University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna

Model of horse's back movement

Riding horses are subject to a considerable load on the back, which leads to an increasing incidence of back disorders. Even with the use of diagnostic measures, such as radiology, scintigraphy, sonography, and blood analysis, in many cases the precise diagnosis of back pain remains challenging and pathogenesis cannot be established. Additionally, the differentiation between primary back pain, and secondary back pain, originating in a painful limb, is difficult. Biomechanical models of the human back have already led to the developement of new therapeutic strategies.
Our aim is to establish a biomechanical model of the equine back and neck, based on kinematic and electromyographic data of 15 horses without back pain. Additionally the influence of the rider will be assessed with a saddle pad measuring pressure distribution. The model will allow the simulation of normal back movements and restrictions thereof.
Primarily the equine back and neck will be modelled as a simple elastic beam with temporary and localized changes of rigidity. The model is then tested comparing it to the back movements of horses, and optimized if necessary.
The resulting model should allow isolation of single influencing factors on the back motion of the horses, and it will be applied both for clinical routine and for teaching.
Project leader
Girtler Dietrich
Type of Research
Basic research
Girtler D.,
Vetmed Research Units
University Equine Clinic, Clinical Unit of Equine Surgery
Funded by
FWF - Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Sensengasse 1, 1090 Wien, Austria
6 Publications

Winkelmayr, B (2005): Evaluierung der Druckverteilung unter einem englischen Sattel und einem Damensattel in den Gangarten Schritt, Trab und Galopp. Dissertation, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 138.

Peham, C; Schobesberger H (2003): Modellierung der Rückenbewegung des Pferdes in verschiedenen Gangarten. Gemeinsame Jahrestagung der Deutschen, der Österreichischen und der Schweizerischen Gesellschaften für Biomedizinische Technik, Salzburg, Austria, SEP 25-27, 2003. Biomedizinische Technik = Biomedical engineering (48), S1 286-287.

Schobesberger, H; Peham, C (2002): Obtaining estimates of biomechanical parameters using a transfer function - a novel approach to estimate biomechanical parameters out of empirical data sets. 248-249.-2nd European Medical and Biological Engineering Conference (EMBEC); DEC 4-8, 2002; Vienna. (ISBN: 3-901351-62-0 )

Schobesberger, H; Peham, C (2002): A black box approach to modeling the equine back as a flexible beam. IVth World Congress of Biomechanics, Calgary, 4.-9. August 2002. IVth World Congress of Biomechanics, Calgary, 4.-9. August 2002.

Peham, C; Licka, T; Frey, A (2002): Oberflächenelektromyographie am langen Rückenmuskel im Trab. DVG, 17. Arbeitstagung der Fachgruppe Pferdekrankheiten, Gießen, 25.-26. April 2002. DVG, 17. Arbeitstagung der Fachgruppe Pferdekrankheiten, Gießen, 25.-26. April 2002.

Frühwirth, B; Peham, C; Scheidl, M (2002): Influence of a rider to the back of a horse in different gaits. IVth World Congress of Biomechanics, Calgary, 4.-9.8.2002. IVth World Congress of Biomechanics, Calgary, 4.-9.8.2002.

© University of Veterinary Medicine ViennaHelp and Downloads