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"biomechanics"

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  • "biomechanics"

    I have noticed that this word biomechanics has become the 'new' marketing word in the equine industry, and in particular dressage.

    Definition of biomechanics:
    1. The study of the mechanics of a living body, especially of the forces exerted by muscles and gravity on the skeletal structure
    2. Biomechanics is the science of movement of a living body, including how muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments work together to produce movement.

    Physics definition of inertia: - the reluctance of all matter to change its state of uniform motion; the tendency of all objects to preserve its motion
    Physics definition of pressure: - is an effect which occurs when a “force” is applied on a surface. Pressure is the amount of force acting on a unit area.
    Physics definition of force: that which produces or prevents motion; that which can impose a change of velocity on a material

    Newton's Three Laws of Mechanics (or Motion):
    First law, the law of inertia: An object remains at rest or moves in a straight line at constant speed, unless acted upon by a net outside force.
    Second law, the effect of forces: The acceleration of an object is proportional to the force acting on it and in the same direction. The acceleration is inversely proportional to the object's mass.
    Third law, action-reaction pairs of forces: Whenever one object exerts a force on a second object, the second object exerts an equal and opposite force on the first object.
    Biomechanics thus requires that one uses the laws of physics in the schooling and riding of the horse.

    With the above perameters a question is raised: Do you believe that riders, trainers and clinicians apply the laws of physics or do they actually unknowingly interfere with these laws?

    Inertia is the motion set forth by the actions of the horse, the effect of forces is the constraints applied by the rider, and the action-reaction is the resistance and constraints effected by both the rider and the horse acting in opposition to each other.
    www.hartetoharte.org
    Ask and allow, do not demand and force.

  • #2
    Newton's laws of physics apply to inanimate objects - like a falling apple, an electron. I do not think you can apply it to a living "object" directly.

    I mean when a baby is born, it moves in random directions without "being set into motion" by an outside "force".
    Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

    Comment


    • #3
      My 'instructor' has a degree in Physics (BSc), so I am going to guess that means she understands the subject.

      Spirithorse, what is your training/degree in Physics ?
      "Friend" me !

      http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mzm farm View Post
        Newton's laws of physics apply to inanimate objects - like a falling apple, an electron. I do not think you can apply it to a living "object" directly.
        Have you ever fallen off a horse?

        Comment


        • #5
          I have yet to have a trainer who can undo gravity or walk on water. Therefore, all trainers, instructors and clinicians I have had have followed the laws of physics.


          I don't think you understand the science AT ALL based upon how you worded the question.
          Originally posted by Silverbridge
          If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think we work within the constraints of the Laws, coupled with the physical ability of the horse/rider (strength, endurance, body shape, etc) to approach the effect we desire (to go forward, be in the unnatural uphill balance, be straight, etc.).

            Some of us are better able to overcome/work within the Laws.... those of us who are blessed with a "rider's body" and have horses with "natural ability".

            A correct seat - being biomechanically correct and in blaance - makes this correct work easier.

            A good trainer USES the Laws to make the work easier for the horse. What's that saying - make the correct answer easy, and the incorrect answer difficult?

            L

            And please remember that we are all, always and at all times, subject to ALL the Laws of physics. Get toofar out of balance, and newton will get you every time - hence we wear helmets!

            Comment


            • #7
              An instructor needs to understand biomechanics but also has to be able to explain how they relate to the horse and rider in front of her. Which means she FIRST has to analize why the horse is acting the way she is rather than following a set formula.

              FWIW, the BSc in Physics was the absolute WORST instructor this BA(Biology)MCSE has ever had and by far the best is a PharmD.
              And my MSEng nuclear engineer DH concures
              I wasn't always a Smurf
              Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
              "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
              The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think part of being able to ride well is being able to create an equal force within your body to counteract the forces acting to destabilize your body (gravity, the up and down and side to side and forward and back movement of the horse, centripetal force in the school figures, etc).

                Isometric muscle use (particularly in the core muscles) is important.
                Liz
                Ainninn House Stud
                Irish Draughts and Connemaras
                Co. Westmeath, Ireland

                Comment


                • #9
                  Unfortunately, I have fallen off a horse and I know the law of physics applies to my falling body as to any other object. However, in the course of a normal ride, forces occur due to my brain giving orders, not just outside forces acting upon me.

                  The force I exert on my horse which propels him forward is a taught response, not a physics law dictated one.

                  Where I lean and distribute my weight does affect how my horse moves and distributes his weight, and that I believe is biomechanics - I would guess all trainers understand that. Horse riding and training is not strictly according to Newton's laws. Horses go not move forward due to an overwhelming "push" and they do not stop solely due to inertia.
                  Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                  ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by spirithorse View Post
                    I have noticed that this word biomechanics has become the 'new' marketing word in the equine industry, and in particular dressage.

                    Definition of biomechanics:
                    1. The study of the mechanics of a living body, especially of the forces exerted by muscles and gravity on the skeletal structure
                    2. Biomechanics is the science of movement of a living body, including how muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments work together to produce movement.

                    Physics definition of inertia: - the reluctance of all matter to change its state of uniform motion; the tendency of all objects to preserve its motion
                    Physics definition of pressure: - is an effect which occurs when a “force” is applied on a surface. Pressure is the amount of force acting on a unit area.
                    Physics definition of force: that which produces or prevents motion; that which can impose a change of velocity on a material

                    Newton's Three Laws of Mechanics (or Motion):
                    First law, the law of inertia: An object remains at rest or moves in a straight line at constant speed, unless acted upon by a net outside force.
                    Second law, the effect of forces: The acceleration of an object is proportional to the force acting on it and in the same direction. The acceleration is inversely proportional to the object's mass.
                    Third law, action-reaction pairs of forces: Whenever one object exerts a force on a second object, the second object exerts an equal and opposite force on the first object.
                    Biomechanics thus requires that one uses the laws of physics in the schooling and riding of the horse.


                    With the above perameters a question is raised: Do you believe that riders, trainers and clinicians apply the laws of physics or do they actually unknowingly interfere with these laws?
                    Based on the definition laid out of biomechanics, yes some can. Based on the magenta portion, you're trying to hard to discredit an idea not even based on that (well, I guess everything is based on that so maybe you're right, but biomechanics react to those laws).

                    The only biomechanics trainer I've been exposed to is Jean Luc Cornille. And based on the fact he spent nearly four hours describing the way horses move and how we influence them, I'd say that goes right in line with what is biomechanics.

                    For example, under JLC's theories, he believes the hind legs do not provide lift, only forward movement. It is the fore legs that create suspension. According to him, this is true in piaffe and in jumping, both instances where the hind legs appear to be creating the lift. But he calls it an optical illusion.

                    If you subscribe to this theory, that the hind legs just push and the fore legs create lift, then asking for more forward (speed) with a strong resisting hand is counter intuitive. He stresses that this prevents the forehand from its natural suspension by asking the hind end to push more forward, creating a horse more on the forehand. But if you work within the natural cadence of the horse, encouraging natural suspension, then you can get a properly working hind end and can remain soft with your hands (no push-pull; he added that some horses will eventually "get" what you want out of this but that it is unnatural and can take years more to accomplish this).

                    He also talks about how the horse's spine can only move inches, and the more the rider's spine moves past a few inches, the more resistance you'll get from the horse because he physically cannot follow you.

                    Now, I found this extremely interesting, with good reason. Because we are all taught that the hind end can "carry" weight and create lift. But JLC's theory is that the back muscles and foreleg muscles are creating the lift and that the hind legs aren't really carrying the horse at all. Pretty darn fascinating.

                    He has years of research to back up his claims. I haven't seen as well-documented research countering his positions so I can't really say whether or not it is unfounded. I will say that the way it was explained made perfect sense, and the horses seemed to respond to it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My husband is a retired physicist, a PhD who was a department chair. He's watched me, my sister and our daughters ride a lot. He said that he felt riding was an art, not a science, but - with him there is almost always a but - the laws of physics DID apply to some things, which were based on the horse's conformation. Short femur vs. long, for example. And then he walked off to his office, after muttering about the rider's seated height, the length of their upper arm, and how long their forearm was, ALL having an influence on the way they held the reins and could communicate with the horse. Scary.....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The only one who I know of that is actually doing real scientific work in this area is Hilary Clayton, the McPhail Dressage Chair at Michigan State.

                        If it isn't backed up by reproducable studies that provide empirical proof--it ain't science.
                        "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          eclectic, that's a great point. Should the research done by these biomechanics-based trainers have empirical proof, and what exactly would that entail?

                          But then I think biomechanics based on muscles and skeleton, is just like kinesiology (biomechanics in humans). You don't need an experiment to show that the average toddler is going to wobble when he runs more so than the average 9 year old. You use length of limbs, weight distribution, muscle movement, basic laws to develop your theory and then "test" it by motion cameras, visual observation or whatever.

                          Biomechanics and kinesiology, from my understanding, are based on what the body is capable of physically and then observations (case studies, data gathering through motion cameras etc.).

                          I'm interested in learning more about the person you posted about

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AzuWish View Post
                            eclectic, that's a great point. Should the research done by these biomechanics-based trainers have empirical proof, and what exactly would that entail?

                            But then I think biomechanics based on muscles and skeleton, is just like kinesiology (biomechanics in humans). You don't need an experiment to show that the average toddler is going to wobble when he runs more so than the average 9 year old. You use length of limbs, weight distribution, muscle movement, basic laws to develop your theory and then "test" it by motion cameras, visual observation or whatever.

                            Biomechanics and kinesiology, from my understanding, are based on what the body is capable of physically and then observations (case studies, data gathering through motion cameras etc.).

                            I'm interested in learning more about the person you posted about
                            Here you go. She frequently publishes studies in Dressage Today and USDF Connection in addition to scholarly publications.

                            http://cvm.msu.edu/research/research...hilary-clayton


                            http://cvm.msu.edu/research/research...h-capabilities
                            "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              there are a lot of folks studying equitation in a scientific manner. (and fwiw, i am not really a fan of clayton..... i think she is too political....)

                              http://www.equitationscience.com/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
                                Here you go. She frequently publishes studies in Dressage Today and USDF Connection in addition to scholarly publications.

                                http://cvm.msu.edu/research/research...hilary-clayton


                                http://cvm.msu.edu/research/research...h-capabilities
                                I saw those links and badly want to read the results in the second links!!! Specifically transitions and rehab techniques!

                                Has anyone seen that lameness indicator or used it? Speaking of biomechanical measuring devices? Neat little thing.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                  there are a lot of folks studying equitation in a scientific manner. (and fwiw, i am not really a fan of clayton..... i think she is too political....)

                                  http://www.equitationscience.com/

                                  You are kidding right? Look at the number of "controversial" or "political" topics listed in your link.
                                  Then count them or the lack of them in Michigan State U's.
                                  "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My trainer (who is also a scientist) said to me the other day:

                                    "When I stopped looking at it like an emotional female and started focussing on the physics, dressage finally clicked into place."

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      In science:

                                      In general, a law is a theory that is expressed in mathematical terms. If experimental evidence can show that the law can be broken then the law (and theory) MUST be changed to fit the new experimental data.

                                      And yes, laws can be "soft" as in the ideal gas law PV=nRT because only under specific conditions the laws fit - far from ideal, other real and measurable phenomenon begin to impact the observed ideal gas law (e.g. intermolecular forces). BUT the theory must accommodate the observed "change" in the law.

                                      Nevertheless, I don't think any horse trainer or rider is breaking any newtonian laws of physics anymore than they can break the laws of thermodynamics.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        'Biomecanic' is used as much as 'natural' in the horse industry and most of the time, badly used and for weird reasons.

                                        Good trainer/rider have to understand how horses move, react, fonction in order to ride and train properly and efficiently. Thus using biomecanics principles knowingly or not. Wiser and marketing prone ones just use the word in their advertisement! And yes, sometimes to fool people.

                                        As for JLC, as good as his research might sound, having seen his clinics and riding, I don't think he's worth half of his sayings.
                                        ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                                        Originally posted by LauraKY
                                        I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                                        HORSING mobile training app

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