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J Biomech. 2010 Sep 17;43(13):2608-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2010.05.004. Epub 2010 May 31.

Symmetry indices based on accelerometric data in trotting horses.

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  • 1Department of Large Animal Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Taastrup, Denmark.


Detection and quantification of lameness in horses consists primarily of a subjective assessment, whereby both intra- and inter-observer disagreements exist, especially with low grade lameness. Therefore, clinically applicable methods are needed for reliable, objective assessments. The aim of this study was to describe three symmetry indices derived from a simple accelerometric method and investigate these in sound trotting horses. The indices describe the overall symmetry of the gait, the symmetry of loads placed on the limbs and the symmetry in timing between left and right steps. These symmetry indices were able to quantify the high degree of symmetry of the trot in sound horses that has been described in earlier studies using other gait analysis methods. Also, we have analysed the variances and have found high repeatability for all three indices. This provides a basis for future investigations of the symmetry indices and their potential for objective detection and quantification of lameness in horses.

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