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University of Kentucky conducting research to improve horse/rider safety

Posted: 4:38 PM, Oct 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-29 18:13:51-04
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The University of Kentucky is conducting research to help improve the safety of the equestrian industry for both horses and riders.

Much of the research that is already out there looks at how the horses are preforming, and less on how the riders are preforming; but this new research is changing that dynamic.

"We want to flip the paradigm, to focus on the equestrian athlete. That's any individual that's interacting with these horses, that can impact the safety of these animals," says UK Assistant Professor, of the College of Public Health, Dr. Kimberly Tumlin.

During the research riders are monitored on an electronic horse named Charlie. Charlie acts and feels remarkable similar to the real thing, and even changes speed based on what the rider is doing.

The rider is hooked up to camera sensors as well to monitor their movements. After 2-3 hours of intense testing researchers can not only help the rider have a better understanding of what they can do to improve their skills, but UK can also collect more information on how to improve safety for future generations of riders and horses.

Their research is still in the early phases, and they hope to monitor riders of several different skill sets, from novice to professional jockeys. If you think you would be a good fit for their research you can contact Michaela Keener at the University of Kentucky by emailing m.keener@uk.edu or calling 859-323-9843.