The evaluation of the use of the side reins, but also the riding styles with extreme head- neck
posture with particular regard to possible benefits or damage in equestrian sports.
The investigation deals with the effect of different side- reins on the length of stride, the
height of the stride and the gait of the horse in general. For this purpose, ten horses with
different training were examined in walk and trot on the treadmill (Mustang® 2200, Graber
AG). The data were collected by 10 Eagle- Cameras with 1, 3 mega pixel, which make 120
frames per second and were recorded on the computer.
Therefore three head- neck positions were chosen: 1. free head-neck position- without side
reins; 2. middle position – a vertical nose line; 3. Hyperflexion (individually adapted sidereins).
The length and the height of the stride were recorded separately on the four
extremities. In order to recognize possible influences of the different head-neck position on
asymmetries in the gait of the horse, special attention was paid to known changes in the
withers and the os sacrum.
All data were checked with the help of SPSS (IBM®, Armonk, New York, USA) on normal
distribution (Kolmogorow- Smirnow- Test) and significance (ANOVA with measurement
repetition). The analysis showed that there was no significant difference between the various
side- reins either on the step length or step height, or even the gait of the horse.
In future, studies without the treadmill (hall or field) and/or additional side-reins would be
required to prove a potential comparable difference.