Muscle Analysis Showed that Training Was the Solution for Gait Irregularities
Tanaka was the cutest 5 year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding you could imagine, and I bought him with a view to distance riding. Prior to the purchase I had Tanaka examined by a Vet and had all four legs X-rayed. There was just a single comment with regard to his right hock, which according to the Vet would not have any significance for distance riding.
I had started with some shorter distance events of up to 25 km, when I participated in a clinic with a Vet who specialized in imbalance in both riders and horses. It was here that I was told that Tanaka had gait problems and should be allowed a weeks rest. After this, things went well until we took part in an event where a Vet said at the finish line that Tanaka seemed to be suffering from muscle fatigue. About one month later Tanaka started to become lame. It was as though he tried to reduce weight bearing on his fore limbs by moving his head to the side and making some odd hops, but only in the trot and with a rider. My Vet did flexion tests, but could only find a possible sign of lameness in the left fore leg. I was offered a local block injection but chose instead to try help from a Chiropractor. This did not give any results, and subsequently the Vet believed that Tanaka was lame on all four legs, perhaps as the result of a sore suspensory-ligament tendon, which was most likely due to growth spurts. Whilst Tanaka remained immobilized for the next 6 weeks, he is treated by a new blacksmith and gets new shoes which appear to help as Tanaka does not seem to have pain any more.
We start re-training but when we get up to training distances of about 12 km, he becomes lame again. I start to become worried now that the recurring lameness will end in Tanaka being put to sleep. In the meantime I became aware of the existence of MyoDynamik and get in contact with them asking for their help.
I subsequently get a full gait analysis for Tanaka in the trot, which shows that my horse is not lame, and an AMG muscle analysis, which shows that the muscles in Tanaka’s right hip are badly damaged and un-coordinated. The result has been that without further worries, I have been able to ride Tanaka, but that I have also learnt to ride with more balance, which I have had help with, so that I could re-build the damaged muscles on Tanaka.
Things progressed with Tanaka and 10 months later we did another AMG analysis. This shows that the damaged muscles have become much more coordinated. It is important though that Tanaka is warmed up prior to training as the AMG analysis revealed that there is an 18% difference in signal between the right and left hips before the start of training and only a 5% difference after 10-15 minutes of warm-up. From a video taken in slow-motion it can be seen that Tanaka is perfectly synchronized in his gait in the trot.
Today 15 months after the first muscle analysis we have begun to take part in point-giving distance rides and are now riding approximately 50 km’s. Tanaka is moving like a dream and continues to improve his hip muscles.
I can strongly recommend MyoDynamik and their muscle analysis. I was greatly eased after their measurements, so much so that I had the confidence to start riding again, albeit with much more focus on my balance so that Tanaka could rebuild his muscles.
Anne-Marie Rekly, Denmark