Brae Riding School visit to IMAR

On Friday 12th June a group of 10 employees and volunteers from the The Brae horse riding centre for the disabled paid a visit to see the facilities at the Institute of Motion Analysis and Research (IMAR). The staff at the Brae have been heavily involved in supporting a BMSc research project that was carried out by Janie Giraudon between January and April 2015 at the stables but were interested to see what was happening with the data collected for the study and of the research facilities at IMAR. Janie’s research aimed to discover if there are any positive changes in pressure distribution in children with Cerebral Palsy during therapeutic horse riding (Hippotherapy) and Janie spent several weeks recording data from volunteer riders at the Centre.

Professor Rami Abboud and the IMAR team gave a tour of the labs demonstrating how the measurement equipment is used for both clinical and research work. Dr Sheila Gibbs presented a number of case studies from the clinical service showing how children with cerebral palsy and spina bifida could improve their walking after interventions based on the gait analysis data. Subsequently, Professor Abboud explained to the visitors the kind of projects that our students undertake such as the effects of shoe size on rock climbing, techniques for rapid extraction from a vehicle, the ergonomics of using surgical instruments, differing techniques of golf swing, ergonomics and posture in aeroplanes, etc… The visitors were amazed with the diversity of work that is undertaken at IMAR and how varied and challenging these can be on a day to day basis. Professor Abboud concluded the tour by saying “if it moves it can be measured by us with the sky being the limit”!

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Left: Dr Sheila Gibbs (1st left) and the Brae Team; Right: Professor Abboud talking about research carried out at IMAR

Mary Sneddon, Centre Manager at the Brae, stated:

“What an enlightening time we had when myself and nine Brae volunteers visited the research labs at IMAR. It was a packed two hours of really interesting information that was split into two halves. The first part was very relative to the work they undertake with many of our disabled riders. I think we all had an awareness of the work they did with some of our riders, especially after the work that Janie had done with us, but I think we were all taken aback with the wide variety of research the students and the department cover. Creating so many different ideas that have resulted in prototypes in helping people’s quality of like was amazing to see during the second part of the visit. It is truly amazing what is going on in the depths of that building. We hope that we can arrange some future visits for more staff and volunteers to also have the opportunity to see the great and interesting work they do. We would definitely like to look at further partnership working with IMAR, it has been a positive experience all round.”

Professor Abboud stated:

“It was great to welcome Mary and her staff to IMAR to thank them for all the support that they have afforded Janie during her project, which proved beyond doubt that Hippotherapy works. Mary and her team should be congratulated for the facility they provide to enhance the quality of life of CP and other disabled children. It is a great honour for us at IMAR to work with such a dedicated team at the Brae to reach out to our local community to help children in need. It was a great opportunity to discuss further avenues of collaboration starting with Janie’s intended MSc by research project as a follow on to her BMSc project.”

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