Thermal imaging of horses is a practical management tool for horse owners. Locating problem areas in horses

Infrared Thermal Imaging can assist you in the day-to-day management considerations of your horse in many helpful and practical ways. This advanced piece of technology helps to simplify your decisions about saddle fit, hoof balance, leg and back issues and can help steer you to enlist the right kind of help; the vet, farrier, saddler or equine therapist.

 

You will get a direct and clear picture of temperature variations which may highlight specific issues that affect  your horse. Getting directly to the source of the issue may help you save time, money and the unnecessary expense of otherwise looking in the wrong direction.

Finding Out What Is Going On For Your Horse...

Assess your horse.

Investigate a problem.

Check your saddle for fit.

Keep an eye on a recovering injury or bringing an old injury back into work.

Full Equine Thermal Imaging Survey

 

We will travel to your premises and provide you with a full imaging survey of your horse ensuring an optimum viewing environment, using a trained technician and following a strict protocol of imaging techniques. Your images can be made available to your vet or interpreted for diagnosis by our in-house vet. Images can be made available for your own use.

Equine Thermal Imaging Survey

 

Investigate a specific problem?

We provide a

  Veterinary Diagnostic Service.

Saddle Fit Imaging

 

Owners are regularly troubled by finding the right saddle for their horse. 

Thermal imaging will give you the information that you need...

  • to understand how well you current saddle is fitting
  • to buy a new saddle with confidence
  • to reveal rider related imbalances and effects on the saddle/horse

 

A saddle putting pressure on one side of the back. We confirm findings, both with and without the rider, by looking at the underside of the saddle.

raised flocking

Taking an image of the horse's back before and after ridden work and of the underside of the saddle immediately after work provides a good impression of saddle fit.

Did you know? That thermography was used to assess saddle fit and effective design by saddle makers themselves. 

Why not get your saddler and equine thermographer together to the yard at the same time?

saddle bridging

By viewing the underside of the saddle we are able to locate specific areas where the flocking might be protruding, rubbing, bridging or pinching. This saddle is bridging.

A thermal imaging session will provide you with information about pressure points, pinching, rub areas or one sided-ness.

We will take images of the underside of the saddle and the back of the horse after lunging (or similar) without the rider and after ridden work. You will have the relevant print-outs of images to show your saddle fitter and/or keep for your records.

Big Savings available with Group Bookings!

 

Good Back? Bad Back?

Excuse or reason? 

Thermal imaging may help you to decide whether you should be doing more, or worrying less,  for ensuring the ongoing health of your horse's back.

 

This back is clear of any heat or cold areas and represents a good back.

 

healthy looking back

Infrared thermal images give you an immediate and clear visual insight into your horse's back.

Heat and cold patterns are readily revealed and seen which can be quickly and easily compared to where the saddle sits, the rider weight, the lower back or sacro-iliac area, heat spots, cold spots, etc.

Identifying specifics starts to become simpler and you are able to build a very intimate picture for the individual horse.

This pony resented being ridden and shows that there is a hot spot directly under the saddle. Further investigation becomes prudent.

thermal hot spot under saddle

The Feet

Hot infected foot.

 

infected foot

 

This image on the left clearly showed this pony's young owner the necessity of tubbing and treating that hot infected foot!


This image on the right shows a horse which has four distinctly different feet. Notice the interrupted blood flow pattern seen at the coronet of the FR. 

→ 

Four very different feet.

 

four very different feet

An interesting observation to peruse!

Back feet are unshod.

unshod hinds

These images belong to the same horse and have been captured on the same temperature settings.

The only difference is that the fronts are shod and might indicate a lesser blood supply when compared to the unshod hinds.

Look at the variations as shown at the coronet band and the comparative differences.

Front feet are shod.

shod fronts

 

With the careful assessment of thermal patterns we are able to acquire valuable insights for your individual horse. Impacts upon the body can be according to age, health and work schedule and infrared thermography gives you a direct view of those impacts. The owner can respond to the needs of the individual through management, training and addressing health care needs.

You may gather valuable information about saddle fit, rider balance, horse asymmetries, weaknesses, posturing, hoof balance, etc. Take a look at the individual thermal image galleries to show a wider variety of different horses.

Lower leg

This aged pony was known to have arthritic joints and his Infrared Thermal Imaging session revealed just how cold his hocks were relative to the rest of the limb.  See image left. If you look at the next section 'Asymmetrical Body Patterns' you will see that by taking all the elements into account you can build a picture of how a particular horse is 'using' and/or 'saving' himself and indicators as to why. The more information we have as caring and discerning horse owners the more possibility we have for keeping our well loved, young and old, horses and ponies comfortable and happy.

Compare this with the more even blood flow throughout the whole of the hind limb of a different horse. See image right. The coronet band is a useful reference point; this area should show up has having a higher blood supply/heat pattern which is considered normal. We can compare the rest of the limb to this reference point to assess thermal abnormalities and norms. In fact, if you imagine toning down the temperature settings for the first image so that the coronet band shows a thin stripe then the hocks would show up even colder!  

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.

left side

Notice the warmer left shoulder and cooler right haunches in comparison to the right side of the body.

rump from above

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.

right side

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.

Teeth

Painful mouth?

very painful mouth

The horse on the left clearly has some issues with its teeth. Notice that the temperature range settings are brought right down to show a relatively cool horse and all the normal thermal patterns and variations have disappeared.

With something like this, that is highlighted so readily, the owner can go directly to addressing the source of the problem.

Healthy head

no inflammation of the jaw evident

If only your horse could tell you what is going on for him...

Well now he can!