On Saturday, 9th may 2015, the GaitSmart team were asked if they would like to attend the Priory equine Spring Demo, organised by Amber Batson from Priory Equine Vets, to show the GaitSmart Pegasus system in action, as one of the key demonstrations of the day. The Spring Demo was held at Orchard Cottage Riding Stables in Surrey.
The GaitSmart team consisted of Diana and Steve, accompanied by Steve’s daughter Lauren and her horse Maximus III (or Moose as he is affectionately known) who were going to be the subjects of the demonstration. We also had Dennis and Lucy Sexton of Equus Caballus Performance with us as they offer a GaitSmart service in the South of England. We all arrived around the same time on the Saturday morning and were made to feel very welcome by Amber and everybody at the stables. Lauren got Moose comfortable in his stable and then we got ourselves prepared, erecting our stand and preparing.
Lauren took Moose into the indoor arena to make sure that he was comfortable with his surroundings and would not have any problems when it came to the demonstration and we announced that we would be offering human gait analysis as well as doing the equine gait analysis demonstration. We soon became a very popular stand. We had a crowd of people that all wanted to have their gait analysed. Some people had suffered injuries (usually through horse riding) and everybody wanted to know how they moved. As we explained, if a rider does not move symmetrically then there is a distinct possibility that it could affect the way they ride their horse. We continued to run human gait analysis sessions until we were called to go into the main arena for the demonstration.
Diana, Lauren and Moose went into the arena and Diana explained to the audience about the sensors and where and how they should be fitted to the horse. The cannon sensors fit into traditional brushing boots that have a small pocket for the sensors and the hock sensors fit into specially designed hock straps. Dennis and Lucy prepared the sensors and then placed them in the boots that Moose was wearing. Diana then got Dennis to trot Moose in-hand, up and down the arena and then Lauren re-mounted. Lauren ran through a number of different movements including riding Moose in a high outline, then in a low outline and finally without any contact at all (at this stage he looked like he was plane spotting!).
Diana then showed a video and talked through exactly how a horse trots while Lucy and Dennis took the sensors and attached them to the GaitSmart Pegasus laptop and ran the software. Within a few minutes they had prepared reports for Moose trotting on the straight and on a bend (very interesting differences). They also had reports for Moose trotting in the high outline, the low outline and with no contact at all. Diana took the audience through the reports and explained how Moose had a good symmetrical trot in his high outline, with good movement. However, when he was ridden in a low outline, it allowed him to open up more through his back and he actually increased his hock angles and therefore his stride length. However, his stride duration had slowed a little. Lastly, when he was trotted with no contact at all, he had a slightly more symmetric movement but he did not achieve the higher hock angles but his stride duration had returned to the previous level.
Diana explained that there is no other system in the world that can do what GaitSmart Pegasus does. The rider and horse can work where they like and how they like and the data is available within minutes of the sensors being removed. Diana explained that GaitSmart had worked with the World Class Program team, prior to the 2012 Olympics, looking at the effect of stamina loss on the show jumpers.
We then all returned to our stand and prepared for the next group of people to have a human gait analysis. There was a tremendous amount of enthusiasm to experience the same process that their horses can. GaitSmart was able to identify all movement anomalies, without fail, for everybody including Rick the farrier who had injured his knee recently and one person who did not have an anterior cruciate ligament. The raffle prize of a free GaitSmart analysis for the winner was drawn and we made arrangements to visit with them and to analyse their horse.
It was a good day, the people were all nice, the weather was excellent and the organisation (thank you Amber) was really good. We look forward to doing more of these educational demonstrations in the future, especially if they are like this one. We are also happy to visit yards and to offer gait analysis service, just get in touch to talk about your requirements. We don’t need lots of cameras or to place sticky dots on the horse. GaitSmart is totally non-invasive and the results are available in minutes.
Although we looked at differences in riding style at the demo, the principle that GaitSmart can detect subtle changes in the way that a horse moves means that it is ideal for identifying problems early and managing the rehabilitation process back to a healthy, symmetrical gait.
A great day and thank you to all who helped make it so.
We have put a selection of photos from the day at the bottom of the page.