Thursday, 26 July 2012

Equitation Science a success in Edinburgh

250 delegates from over 15 countries ranging from the west coast of the US, across Europe and all the way to Australia and New Zealand, attended the recent ISES UK 2012 international conference sponsored by Redwings Horse Sanctuary and the World Dressage Masters foundation and held at Edinburgh University¹s Royal (Dick) Vet School last week.

Fittingly held just prior to the Olympic games in London, the annual equine performance and welfare conference attracted international scientists and experts speaking on themes covering the sustainable equine athlete from both physical and psychological aspects to the science and measurement of rider inputs and horse welfare. The three day conference with more than 35 spoken presentations and 140 poster presentations discussed current and future use of technological advances for enabling better measurement of the ways in which both horse and rider interact during ridden performance and so improve methods used for coaching riders and training horses.

Highlights included the final practical day where scientific work was put into practice, and the audience were given demonstrations of the use of rein tension meters, saddle pressure mats, bio measures of horse and rider and even eye tracking equipment for carriage horse drivers. Three times Olympian, and Dressage Team GB member for the London Olympics, Richard Davison was on hand as the chairperson for what was an excellent opportunity for equine scientists and practitioners for discuss the road ahead for the use of the horse for pleasure and performance.

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