The effect of water height on stride frequency, stride length and heart rate during water treadmill exercise

Rosie Scott, Kathryn Nankervis, C Stringer, K Westcott, David Marlin

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    22 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Reasons for performing study: Water treadmill exercise is often incorporated into rehabilitation programmes for horses yet little is known about the biomechanical and physiological responses to water walking. Objectives: To establish whether stride frequency (SF) reached steady state as a result of 6 introductory water treadmill sessions and then to investigate the effect of increasing water height on SF, stride length (SL) and heart rate (HR). Methods: Nine horses with no previous experience of water treadmills completed 6 sessions of walking for between 15 and 30 min. Each horse was fitted with a leg mounted accelerometer to measure SF. The effect of session on SF was tested using univariate ANOVA. Eight horses completed 3 further sessions at each of the following water heights; proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP), carpus and ulna. SF, SL and HR at each water height were compared to a control (hoof height) using univariate ANOVA. Results: When SF during introductory sessions 4–6 were compared, there was no significant effect of session on SF (P>0.05). In the second part of the experiment, SF was 0.57 ± 0.03 strides/s at control, 0.54 ± 0.03 strides/s at the PIP joint, 0.51 ± 0.02 strides/s at the carpus and 0.52 ± 0.03 strides/s at the ulna. Stride frequency at carpal and ulna height was significantly lower than at control (P<0.05). Stride length was 1.53 ± 0.09 m for control, 1.63 ± 0.10 m at the PIP joint, 1.71 ± 0.08 m at the carpus and 1.68 ± 0.10 m at the ulna. Stride length at carpal and ulna height was significantly greater than control (P<0.05). There was no significant difference between HR during control and any other water height (P>0.05). Conclusion: Horses reached steady state gait within the first 6 sessions of water treadmill exercise. Walking in water at the level of the carpus or ulna resulted in a lower SF compared to walking in water at hoof height.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEquine Veterinary Journal
    PublisherWiley-Blackwell
    Pages662-664
    Number of pages2
    Volume42
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2010
    Event 8th International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology - Cape Town, South Africa
    Duration: 7 Nov 201012 Nov 2010

    Conference

    Conference 8th International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology
    Abbreviated titleICEEP 2010
    CountrySouth Africa
    CityCape Town
    Period7/11/1012/11/10

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Equine

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  • Cite this

    Scott, R., Nankervis, K., Stringer, C., Westcott, K., & Marlin, D. (2010). The effect of water height on stride frequency, stride length and heart rate during water treadmill exercise. In Equine Veterinary Journal (Vol. 42, pp. 662-664). Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2042-3306.2010.00194.x