The Body and Symmetry.
Asymmetrical Body Pattern
This horse had done lunge work an hour before being imaged which meant that some of the body's muscle mass had cooled down. We are still able to see the differences left and right. It was already known that the horse was weak through the left hind due to arthritic changes in the hock and we were able to get a very clear indication of how the horse was compensating by using the left shoulder and right haunch more than the opposite diagonal pair. This horse also had interesting heat patterns through the legs showing how the concussive forces were being taken through the skeletal structure rather than being absorbed by the soft tissue structures of the stay apparatus; perhaps indicative of an aged horse who has lost elasticity in tendons and ligaments. The session certainly provided us with some very clear feedback about how this horse uses his body and how we might alleviate some of those bodily stressors through training and management considerations.
Notice the warmer left shoulder and cooler right haunches in comparison to the right side of the body.
The muscle mass on the gluteals of the right hind are clearly working 'harder' than the left; all in an effort to 'save' the arthritic hock of the left hind.
By comparing the two sides we can get a good overview of how the horse is using the body and can then 'focus in' on areas of particular interest.