Science & Equine

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Written by Marly Coppens

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The use of the technology in equestrian sports, cure or care

During the last decade Equitation Science has growth tremendously. This review articles discusses the use of technology products in equestrian sports and research studies. Furthermore, it tries to give an answer to the question “Are Equitation Scientists counting the right things?”.

The main research areas are generally those that are influenced by equipment (tack). Some examples of technologies used in studies are; tension and pressure recording equipment, heart rate monitors, electromyography and temperature (including infra-red thermography), accelerometers, gait analysis and sensitivity testing equipment.

The number of peer reviewed studies give the idea that scientists are doing the right thing. However, in order to measure the data well they should make use of a careful experimental design, accurate data management and robust statistical analysis. Since it is very easy to assign meaning to findings of an incomplete data set and to give the most likely explanation. Only if researchers stay close to the principles of scientific research, ensuring that random and systematic error are low, hence accuracy, precision, validity and reliability high, then the use of technology in equitation related research may be a benefit.

The authors use a quote of Einstein to summarise the current status: “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted”

> From: Randle et al., Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 190 (2017) 57-73. All rights reserved to Elsevier B.V. . Click here for the online summary.

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