ASC202 Equine Locomotion (8)


Horses are athletes that require a sound and efficient locomotory system to meet human demands. In order to achieve optimal horse performance it is necessary for us to understand the functions of their locomotory structures. The study of locomotion includes functional anatomy, basic biomechanical concepts, consideration of tissue elasticity as well as a critical assessment of conformation and an introduction to gaits. Emphasis is on using this knowledge to aid in the prevention of athletic injuries. Finally we will cover aspects of lameness and back pain. For those students studying by distance education there is a compulsory,  2 day residential school.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
InternalWagga Wagga Campus
Distance*Wagga Wagga Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ASC202
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment restrictions

Equine science and Animal science students and others at the discression of the Subject  or Course coordinator.
ASC171 and (ASC206 or ASC106)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Be able to explain locomotion in terms of musculoskeletal anatomy, basic biomechanical principles and conformation;
  • Be able to explain the importance of tissue elasticity in locomotion;
  • Be able to explain rider effects on posture in moving horses;
  • Be able to evaluate conformation in horses, in particular likely effects on locomotion;
  • Be able to identify undesirable conformation;
  • Be aware of and understand the inherent risk of lameness and sore backs in athletic horses and the importance of saddle fit and tack in preventing these conditions;
  • Be able to use the literature to review current research into equine locomotion.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Hoof anatomy and balance
  • Basic and applied biomechanics of locomotion
  • Motion analysis
  • Conformation analysis
  • Gaits and how these link to lameness detection
  • Lameness and its identification in the field
  • Back problems and their relationship to saddle fit and tack
  • Collection/roundness

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 2 day residential school. The residential school comprises a mixture of lectures and laboratory dissection classes as well as conformation assessment in live horses.

Specialised Resources

This subject has a 2 day residential school


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.