New Equine Assisted Activity Research Grant Funded

Study of connection between horse and rider.
Study of connection between horse and rider.

Newsdate: Fri, January 5, 2018, 9:40 am

Horses and Humans Research Foundation awarded $10,000 to Texas A&M University to complete their research project “Tracking Kinematic and Kinetic Data during Horse Riding for Optimizing Therapeutic Outcomes.”

Impact of horse movement on rider

Impact of horse movement on rider

Innovative project uses new, technologically advanced sensors on mounted client and horse to collect data on the movements experienced by rider on dynamic back of horse.

This study will investigate the impact the horse’s movement has on a mounted client by measuring both horse and mounted participant simultaneously.

This innovative project relies on new, technologically advanced sensors, to be placed on both mounted client and horse, to collect data on the movements experienced by the participant while on the dynamic surface of the horse.

The data collected by the sensors from the mounted client and horse during  equine assisted therapy (EAT) sessions will provide insight into:

  • i) the impact of the equine movement on the client during an EAT session,
  • ii) the effects of the movement pattern of specific horses paired with specific  mounted client on the client’s mobility,
  • iii) how EAT affects the client’s core movements, and
  • iv) how refinements in horse selection, utilization and/or training might further enhance effectiveness of an EAT session (horse-client coordination). In addition, sensor data will enable EAT professionals to more accurately determine movements of the horse that are beneficial to improve client’s functional gait and balance.

According to principal investigator Dr. Pilwon Hur the movement of the horse is a key factor contributing to the success of EAA/T as demonstrated by previous studies using both qualitative and quantitative data.

As the EAA/T industry grows and expands, a tool that measures the horse movement and the mounted participant’s movement is necessary. The tool can quantify the biofeedback responses that the mounted participant receives from the rhythmical, symmetrical movement of the horse.

For instructors and therapist, this information could be groundbreaking in assessment of individuals, therapy horses, and treatment strategies.

More information can be found on the HHRF website.

Horses and Humans Research Foundation (HHRF) is dedicated to funding research to investigate the equine-assisted activities and therapies field. Since its founding, HHRF has awarded over $460,000 in professional research efforts led by twelve research teams in the United States, Canada and Germany.

HHRF is a non-endowed foundation dependent solely on donations. To make a donation and/or learn more about this and other Horses and Humans Research Foundation projects visit

About the Author

Flossie Sellers

As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.

She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.

Staying  up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere..