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Selected Publication:

Type of publication: Baccalaureate Thesis
Type of document:

Year: 2015

Authors: Würnschimmel, Alice

Title: Die Auswirkung verschiedener Kopf-Hals-Haltungen auf die Aktivität des Musculus longissimus dorsi beim Pferd.

Other title: The Impact of different head-neck-positions on the activity of the musculus longissimus dorsi of the horse

Source: Bakkalaureatsarbeit, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 60.


Peham Christian

Forstenpointner Gerhard

Vetmed Research Units:
University Equine Clinic, Clinical Unit of Equine Surgery

The aim of this study was to analyse the impact of hyperflexion of head and neck on the activity of the Musculus longissimus dorsi by means of an empirical experiment on a treadmill. The test series comprises ten horses with different age, gender, race and training levels. The activity of the Musculus longissimus dorsi was recorded at T16 and L3 at walk as well as at trot by EMG-Electrodes. The Maxima, Minima and their time of appearance within the movement cycle were measured and tested for significant differences for all three scenarios. “Ohne” means test series with free head-neck-position, “Aus1” means a headneck- position where the nose is at or slightly in front the vertical position forced with the help of side reins which were shortened to keep the nose behind the vertical (hyperflexion) in test series “Aus2”. Due to anatomical and biomechanical basics a positive result had to be expected. This hypothesis is supported by the biomechanical functions which indicate a positive correlation between the head-neck-position and the activity level of the Musculus longissimus dorsi. This study shows neither for the maxima nor the minimal any significant differences in all three scenarios. Only the time of appearance of the maximal value at T16 right differs significantly. The effects of the different gaits are of subordinated importance for this study. Nevertheless it is necessary to mention that the minima differ at all four measuring points significantly. The hypothesis, hyperflexion inhibits the activity of the Musculus longissimus dorsi and therefore is seen as an impairment of the horse, could not be proven. However, this empirical study comprises only short time tests under experimental conditions. It must not be inferred that hyperlexion has no negative effect on the health of the horse. Further researches under real live conditions during the daily training sessions are inevitable and for this reason strongly recommended.

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