Icelandic horses are increasingly popular in Sweden and Norway. Their strength lies in their unique gaits, however, in lame horses this trait becomes a weakness. Evaluating not only lameness but also the leg of origin for lameness in any gait other than trot is exceptionally challenging. Today, we lack the most basic knowledge of how Icelandic horses move in the different gaits and how these gaits change in the event of lameness. Biomechanical research on lameness has excelled due to the use of automatic computerized sensor analysis. However, such analysis is currently limited to use during trot.The aim of this project is to study how Icelandic horses move in the different gaits; develop new algorithms for automatic classification and coding of these gaits; as well as identify sensitive symmetry variables to detect not only lameness but also origin of lameness in the different gaits. These findings can also be used to quantify gait traits for genetic studies as well as a breeding tool.
Project leader: Cathrine Fjordbakk
Institution: Institutt for sports- og familiedyrmedisin