• horse;
  • biokinematics;
  • piaffe;
  • passage;
  • gait analysis


In searching for determinants of advanced dressage performance it is of great interest to know if the angular patterns change from trot in hand to passage and piaffe occurs in approximately the same way in all horses (i.e. the variation of the angular pattern adaptation is small), irrespective of the initial pattern. In the present study trot in hand, passage and piaffe of 6 Grand Prix dressage horses were recorded by high speed film (250 frames/s). The changes in locomotion pattern from trot in hand to passage and piaffe in each horse were calculated by subtraction of the trot in hand angular measurements from the passage and piaffe angular measurements, respectively. Group mean and s.d. curves for the differences were calculated. During the whole stride the pelvic inclination showed a small variation in the difference between passage and trot in hand and during the last 20% of the stride the variation was small in the fore hoof trajectory. During the swing phase the variation of the difference between piaffe and trot in hand was small in the hind hoof trajectory. Around lift off several variables had smaller variation in passage and piaffe than in trot in hand. It was concluded that the angular pattern of the pelvic inclination may be relevant as a selection criterion for passage performance.