Sonia Sanchez

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering



First Advisor

Renee Rogge

Second Advisor

Alan Chiu

Third Advisor

Eric Reyes


The thesis describes the redevelopment, testing, and validation of a rein training device intended to help riders learn to guide a horse during hippotherapy sessions. The thesis aims to validate and verify that the forces read by the redeveloped rein simulator were operant within ± 150 grams of the actual weight applied, as well as to investigate the effect of temperature on the system. The simulator focuses on the use of the English style of riding that uses direct force from the reins to guide a horse to turn or stop. Data was collected by hanging weights from the load cells in the direction a rider would pull on the reins. The error of the system was found to range between ±30 grams for forces below 750 grams, ±50 grams for forces between 750 and 2500 grams, and as high as ±130 grams for forces greater than 2500 grams; therefore, the system operated within the specified ranges. Room temperature conditions were found to cause greater variability in the error of the system as opposed to higher or lower temperature conditions, but the errors were contained within tolerance thus verifying the device was effective for its intended therapeutic application.