As I have long suspected, it's all in the eye of the beholder.
Now if they had combined that study with a force plate analysis of the same horses to see if there was a difference in limb loading and if the limb loading or non-loading was the same as the vets opinion of lamness, that would be interesting.
1 lame horse, 1 owner, 1 vet, = 3 opinions!
Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
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Posting the definitions of the scale in case anyone is not familiar:
1: Lameness is difficult to observe and is not consistently apparent, regardless of circumstances (e.g., under saddle, circling, inclines, hard surface, etc.).
2: Lameness is difficult to observe at a walk or when trotting in a straight line, but consistently apparent under certain circumstances (e.g., weight carrying, circling, inclines, hard surface, etc.).
3: Lameness is consistently observable at a trot under all circumstances.
4: Lameness is obvious at a walk.
5: Lameness produces minimal weight bearing in motion and/or at rest or a complete inability to move.
If the AAEP lameness score was greater than 1.5, the veterinarians agreed whether a limb was lame or not 93.1% of the time;
If the AAEP lameness score was less than or equal to 1.5, the veterinarian's only agreed 61.9% of the time, and