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AHT Life Magazine 2018

Leading science and care

Leading science and care for animals The Centre for Equine Studies Evidence-based advice can help all horses – from elite competition horses, to beloved family ponies The best treatment relies on the best knowledge; which is the foundation of all the services offered within our Equine Clinic. As competition riders themselves, our experts have developed a greater understanding of sports horse injuries and the demands on these horses, but can also empathise with the position of riders and owners of horses and ponies of all types. As well as first-hand experience in the field, our orthopaedic specialists, Dr Sue Dyson and Dr Rachel Murray, and our sports medicine specialist, Dr Annamaria Nagy, carry out their own research to increase the knowledge available for vets, owners and trainers. This enables us to better protect horses from potential injuries and to provide improved diagnostic techniques and treatments when these animals need our help. Our team’s forte is the investigation of poor performance and lameness. Many signs of lameness go unrecognised and take an expert eye to spot. A lameness examination does not simply involve the assessment of a horse ‘trotting up’ in straight lines. Observing the horse on the lunge and during ridden exercise, especially performing the type of work it normally has to do, is paramount to the team being able to successfully identify, diagnose and treat the underlying problem. We are very privileged to have an extensive suite of diagnostic imaging facilities on-site (X-ray, ultrasound, high and low field MRI and scintigraphy) to offer comprehensive evaluations, in order to determine a bespoke treatment and rehabilitation programme for each horse. It is always our aim to share the knowledge we Observing on the lung gain from the patients we see in the clinic, so that our scientific and clinical findings can be translated into reallife benefits for horses all around the world. This ethos has enabled us to educate owners, trainers and vets to recognise signs of discomfort in horses earlier, so that underlying problems such as lameness can be recognised sooner. If this can be achieved, it is much more likely that a horse will get an accurate diagnosis and the problem can be managed more successfully. For information on our equine oncology services, go to pages 10 and 11 36 AHT Life

Find out more at www.aht.org.uk Laser treatment Flexion Test e Supporting our Equine Athletes The Animal Health Trust is a vital resource for competitors and their horses. Our aim is to ultimately protect these animals from disease and injury in the first instance, to help ensure happy and healthy careers. Our research spans a wide spectrum of areas related to performance and has identified injury patterns in horses competing in a variety of disciplines. As a result, our years of research have helped to develop practical advice, techniques and guidelines which are relevant to all equestrian sports. Dressage AHT studies and clinical experience indicate that dressage horses are at higher risk of suspensory ligament injury than other sports horses. This may be due to multiple factors, relating to arena surfaces and their maintenance, the repetitive nature of the work, and work in collection and extension, as well as the conformation of these horses. Our experts aim to provide advice about both prevention of injury and rehabilitation after injury. Showjumping In elite showjumping horses, we found there is considerable variation in gait and warm-up patterns, and many horses are found to be placing asymmetrical loads on the musculoskeletal system which could heighten injury risk and influence performance. Our research advised riders and trainers to be more systematic and mindful of these issues as they prepare for competition. 2012 Olympics Substantial investigation into arena surfaces and their maintenance was used to advise the Organising Committee for the London 2012 Olympics, playing a significant role in keeping the Olympic horses safe and in best form. Surface types, their potential role in injury, and arena maintenance are ongoing areas of important research at the AHT. AHT Life 37

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