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Ground reaction forces of elite dressage horses in collected trot and passage


  • Hilary M. Clayton
  • Henk Schamhardt
  • Sarah Jane Hobbs

This study compared the forces produced by Dutch Warmblood and Lusitano horses when ridden in collected trot and passage.


In this study, sagittal plane ground reaction forces (GRFs) in ridden elite dressage horses performing ‘collected trot’ and in ‘passage’ over ground were determined.


To compare the force profiles of Warmblood and Lusitano horses performing collected trot and passage.


In-ground force plates captured GRF data from four Dutch Warmblood and four Lusitano horses ridden by their trainers. At least three stance phases were analysed for forelimbs and hind limbs per horse. The variables extracted were vertical and longitudinal (braking, propulsive) force maxima, their times of occurrence and the respective impulses for forelimbs and hind limbs.


Lusitanos had lower vertical impulses than Dutch Warmbloods in collected trot. Across all horses, passage had larger vertical impulses than collected trot in the forelimbs and hind limbs. Propulsive impulse increased in the hind limbs in passage.


Prolonged stance durations in passage contributed to higher vertical impulses that are needed to increase the vertical excursions of the centre of mass.