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Friday, September 19, 2008

Lame Brains Unite: Hilary Clayton Gait Study Course Opened to Public

This horse is outfitted for a session of gait analysis in the McPhail Center's world-class video gait analysis laboratory. Equipment at the Center includes a Motion Analysis system, AMTI force plate, Noraxon EMG system, Pliance saddle pressure pad and other custom equipment for making measurements of horses and riders.

Every September, we get the feeling we should be learning something new. Starting back to school. Taking a new interest in our profession. Moving forward with the times.

But we've never had an opportunity like this before.

A private course in equine lameness has been scheduled for next month at Michigan State University's McPhail Center for Equine Performance. The decision was made yesterday to open the course to the public, so this is the first and perhaps only announcement that interested professionals and horse owners may register for a hands-on course in equine gaits and lameness identification with world expert Dr. Hilary Clayton.

The course is offered by the innovative international program Equinology, which offers courses on biomechanics with Dr Clayton and other experts all over the world. The program is designed as a professional development track for those seeking a career in equine body work, rehabilitation, etc. but sometimes courses are open to non-program participants.

Here's a brief description:

Course Title: Biomechanics, Applied Anatomy and Gait Abnormalities (Course # EQ 300)
Course Dates: 10/20/2008 to 10/23/2008

This 4-day course offers both classroom and hands-on approaches. This is an actual course, not a workshop. The goal is for you to learn to recognize irregularities and gait abnormalities. Live and filmed horses, some with diagnosed problems, will be presented for inspection.

Understanding gait diagramming and where the limbs are placed throughout individual gaits enables you to visualize which joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles are utilized for the movements. This course does not attempt to replace veterinary expertise; however it will teach you better assessment skills. Surface anatomy and palpation of joints, tendons and ligaments are also included.

Course topics include:
Gait analysis and evaluation guidelines
Conformation evaluation
Locating palpation points
Causes and symptoms of the lame horse
Subjective analysis of conformation: Limb deviations, rotations and determination of symmetry
Basic anatomy and terminology
Preventing lameness
Defining and diagramming the basic gaits
History of biomechanics
Biomechanical techniques
High Speed Cinematography
Equipometry discussion
Measuring horses
Stay Apparatus: structure, function and palpation of the forelimb
Reciprocal and Stay Apparatus: structure, function and palpation of the hindlimb
Structure and function of the head and neck
Sports analysis/video presentations & problem solving for various disciplines

Prerequisites: A good knowledge of veterinary vocabulary, equine anatomy and horse handling skills; you will be expected to have read Dr Clayton's book, The Dynamic Horse.

Tuition: $995 for four days.

Note: Equinology and Dr Clayton will also offer this course at Writtle College in Essex, England in January 2009.

About the center: The Mary Anne McPhail Equine Performance Center is a state-of-the art equine sports and lameness facility housed in its own mini-campus with dedicated indoor arena, stabling and laboratories at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in East Lansing, Michigan. Since the center opened in the year 2000, some of the world's leading research in equine sports medicine and biomechanics, culminating in world-renowned research to benefit performance and soundness of equine athletes, has been conducted at the center. Veterinarians and researchers from all over the world travel to the McPhail Center for consultation and collaboration.

About Dr Clayton: Dr. Clayton has been the first incumbent of the Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine since July, 1997. As a veterinarian and researcher, Dr. Clayton's studies on the biomechanics of equine gait have focused on sport horses, including dressage and jumping horses. Her work has included videographic analytic studies of Olympic dressage and jumping events and kinematic and kinetic research with some of the world's top dressage riders and horses in the Netherlands. She has a special interest in the foot and has contributed greatly to the body of knowledge on the role of the foot in locomotion and its functional anatomy. A lifelong rider, Dr. Clayton is a USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist, and is a certified equestrian coach in the UK and Canada. She is the author of several books including Conditioning Sport Horses, The Dynamic Horse, Clinical Anatomy of the Horse, and Activate Your Horse's Core. She is co-author of the textbook, Equine Locomotion, and is a longstanding consulting editor with Hoofcare and Lameness Journal, which also sells her publications.

To learn more, visit or to register, use the online system. If you have questions, contact Debranne Pattillo, President of Equinology, in Gualala, California: tel 707 884-9963 or email Please mention that you read about the course on this blog and that you are inquiring about course EQ300.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. No use without permission. All images and text property of the McPhail Center and/or Hoofcare Publishing and protected to full extent of law.

Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. This blog may be read online or received via a daily email through an automated delivery service.
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1 comment:

thorouguebred said...

Now this is something I wish I could attend.