Next Article in Journal
Effects of Breed and Stage of Lactation on Milk Fatty Acid Composition of Italian Goat Breeds
Next Article in Special Issue
Changes in Hoof Shape During a Seven-Week Period When Horses Were Shod Versus Barefoot
Previous Article in Journal
A Review on Mammary Tumors in Rabbits: Translation of Pathology into Medical Care
Previous Article in Special Issue
Measuring Volumetric Changes of Equine Distal Limbs: A Pilot Study Examining Jumping Exercise
Open AccessReview

A Review of Biomechanical Gait Classification with Reference to Collected Trot, Passage and Piaffe in Dressage Horses

1
Sport Horse Science, 3145 Sandhill Road, Mason, MI 48854, USA
2
College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
3
Centre for Applied Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(10), 763; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100763
Received: 17 September 2019 / Revised: 30 September 2019 / Accepted: 2 October 2019 / Published: 3 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics of the Exercising Animals)
This paper reviews the biomechanical classification of diagonally coordinated gaits of dressage horses, specifically, collected trot, passage and piaffe. Each gait was classified as a walking gait or a running gait based on three criteria: limb kinematics, ground reaction forces and center of mass mechanics. The data for trot and passage were quite similar and both were classified as running gaits according to all three criteria. In piaffe, the limbs have relatively long stance durations and there are no aerial phases, so kinematically it was classified as a walking gait. However, the shape of the vertical ground reaction force curve and the strategies used to control movements of the center of mass were more similar to those of a running gait. The hind limbs act as springs with limb compression increasing progressively from collected trot to passage to piaffe, whereas the forelimbs show less compression in passage and piaffe and behave more like struts.
Gaits are typically classified as walking or running based on kinematics, the shape of the vertical ground reaction force (GRF) curve, and the use of inverted pendulum or spring-mass mechanics during the stance phase. The objectives of this review were to describe the biomechanical characteristics that differentiate walking and running gaits, then apply these criteria to classify and compare the enhanced natural gait of collected trot with the artificial gaits of passage and piaffe as performed by highly trained dressage horses. Limb contact and lift off times were used to determine contact sequence, limb phase, duty factor, and aerial phase duration. Ground reaction force data were plotted to assess fore and hind limb loading patterns. The center of mass (COM) trajectory was evaluated in relation to changes in potential and kinetic energy to assess the use of inverted pendulum and spring-mass mechanics. Collected trot and passage were classified as running gaits according to all three criteria whereas piaffe appears to be a hybrid gait combining walking kinematics with running GRFs and COM mechanics. The hind limbs act as springs and show greater limb compression in passage and piaffe compared with trot, whereas the forelimbs behave more like struts showing less compression in passage and piaffe than in trot. View Full-Text
Keywords: horse; kinematics; duty factor; aerial phase; ground reaction force; inverted pendulum mechanics; spring-mass mechanics horse; kinematics; duty factor; aerial phase; ground reaction force; inverted pendulum mechanics; spring-mass mechanics
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Clayton, H.M.; Hobbs, S.J. A Review of Biomechanical Gait Classification with Reference to Collected Trot, Passage and Piaffe in Dressage Horses. Animals 2019, 9, 763.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop