chapter  1
22 Pages

Motor control of the rider: On moving and being moved

In 1882, the British photographer Eadweard Muybridge caused a sensation with his series of still photographs showing the ‘horse in motion’. To prove that, when galloping, a horse would indeed become airborne, he employed the then highly innovative method of installing a series of fifty cameras along the course of a racetrack. The shutter mechanism of each of the cameras was connected via a trip wire laid across the track. The moment the horse thundered past, each camera took a picture, resulting in a sequence of photographs that depicted in detail the movement sequence of a full gallop stride (Figure 1.1). Muybridge’s series of photographs is often quoted today as the foundation of cinematography and it proved a revelation in terms of understanding and appreciating animal locomotion.1