Equine and Comparative Exercise Physiology

Research Article

Strain gauge measurement of rein tension during riding: a pilot study

Hilary M Claytona1 c1, Wesley H Singletona1, Joel L Lanovaza1 and Gary L Clouda2

a1 College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

a2 College of Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA


A pilot study was performed using a strain gauge transducer intercalated between the bit and the left rein to measure rein tension dynamically during riding. The strain patterns consisted of a series of spikes with frequencies corresponding to two per stride in walk and trot and one per stride in canter. The highest tension recorded in each gait was 43 N at walk, 51 N at trot and 104 N in canter. Based on the results of this study, it is recommended that the methodology should be adapted so that both reins are instrumented simultaneously, data are transmitted telemetrically to eliminate the need for a tether connecting the horse to the computer, and kinematic data are synchronized with the rein tension recordings.

(Received January 04 2005)

(Accepted February 17 2005)


c1 *claytonh@cvm.msu.edu