Biomechanics and Pathophysiology Applied to the Equine Athlete - (30 Credits)

This module will allow the student to critically evaluate the importance of biomechanics and sports medicine for equine performance. The students will critically evaluate recent developments in the area of exercise physiology, biomechanics, injury and rehabilitation, in relation to performance horse management and welfare. It is intended that students will have and advanced knowledge in how anatomy functions in relation to movement and the way that measurement can be used to evaluate and enhance performance. Students will discuss and develop a critical view about applied equine biomechanics through experience of numerous practical and video sessions, which help to develop the skills to identify gait abnormalities, asymmetry and performance related issues in horses. The information will help the student to link functional findings to structural abnormalities, and possible influence of intrinsic and extrinsic factors in performance. This module includes the use of some exciting gait analysis software courses that can be used for research and working within industry. The module also brings discussion about the principles of motor control, proprioception and skill acquisition and the application of these concepts in performance analysis and injury prevention in sports. On the equine sports medicine side, it is critical that students understand what may go wrong at molecular, cellular and tissue level to be able to undertake the rehabilitation process. This module develops the links between the phases of repair and the optimum stage for different types of passive and dynamic rehabilitation to maximise recovery through timely intervention. Musculoskeletal injuries, bone fractures will be addressed in depth in this module. Furthermore, pathologies not linked to sports injuries, but that can led to poor performance (e.g. muscular, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders) will be critically evaluated. The physiological basis of pain mechanisms and dealing with pain through the use of analgesics and alternative pain management will also be investigated.