Improving how horse height is measured

As long as there are benefits to manipulating height, measuring will attract controversy. So how do we move forward? Here are five ideas to help the integrity of height measurements:

  • Remove potential for conflict of interest and ensure that measurements are only undertaken by independent measurers who are not familiar with the animal or its connections
  • Rigorous and regular inspection of measurers’ equipment and technique
  • For better accuracy, all sticks should be fitted with a second spirit level until such a time as self-levelling laser devices are the most viable option
  • Routine sampling for prohibited substances — as done at prepurchase examinations — would act as a deterrent to the use of tranquillisers or sedatives
  • Step up in-competition measuring. While there might be debate about tolerances, the FEI’s system has been successful

For the full veterinary article on measuring, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (14 April, 2011)

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