• 1

    Hildebrand M. Symmetrical gaits of horses. Science 1965;150:701708.

  • 2

    Clayton HM. Comparison of the stride kinematics of the collected, medium, and extended walks in horses. Am J Vet Res 1995;56:849852.

  • 3

    Nicodemus MC, Clayton HM. Temporal variables of fourbeat, stepping gaits of gaited horses. Appl Anim Behav Sci 2003;80:133142.

  • 4

    Barrey E. Inter-limb coordination. In:Back W, Clayton HM, ed.Equine locomotion. London: Harcourt Publishers Ltd, 2001;7794.

  • 5

    Reilly SM, Biknevicius AR. Integrating kinetic and kinematic approaches to the analysis of terrestrial locomotion. In:Bells VL, Gasc JP, Casinos A, ed.Vertebrate biomechanics and evolution. Oxford: BIOS Scientific Publishers Ltd, 2003;243265.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6

    Hoyt DF, Taylor CR. Gait and the energetics of locomotion in horses. Nature 1981;292:239240.

  • 7

    Clayton HM. Comparison of the stride kinematics of the collected, working, medium and extended trot in horses. Equine Vet J 1994;26:230234.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8

    Cavagna GA, Heglund NC, Taylor CR. Mechanical work in terrestrial locomotion: two basic mechanisms for minimizing energy expenditure. Am J Physiol 1977;233:R243R261.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9

    Willey JS, Biknevicius AR & Reilly SM, et al. The tale of the tail: limb function and locomotor mechanics in Alligator mississippiensis. J Exp Biol 2004;207:553563.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10

    Griffin TM, Main RP, Farley CT. Biomechanics of quadrupedal walking: how do four-legged animals achieve inverted pendulum-like movements? J Exp Biol 2004;207:35453558.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11

    Farley CT, Ko TC. Mechanics of locomotion in lizards. J Exp Biol 1997;200:21772188.

  • 12

    Biewener AA. Muscle-tendon stresses and elastic energy storage during locomotion in the horse. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol 1998;120:7387.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13

    Alexander RM, Jayes AS. A dynamic similarity hypothesis for the gaits of quadrupedal mammals. J Zool 1983;201:135152.

  • 14

    Grasselli A. Stride characteristics of the toelt in Icelandic horses, in Proceedings. 1st Int Workshop Anim Locomotion 1991;18.

  • 15

    Zips S, Peham C & Scheidl M, et al. Motion pattern of the toelt of Icelandic horses at different speeds. Equine Vet J Suppl 2001;33:109111.

  • 16

    Biknevicius AR, Mullineaux DR, Clayton HM. Ground reaction forces and limb function in tölting Icelandic horses. Equine Vet J 2004;36:743747.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17

    Hildebrand M. Analysis of tetrapod gaits: general considerations and symmetrical gaits. In:Miterman R, Griller S, Stein PSG, et al, eds.Neural control of locomotion. New York: Plenum Press, 1976;203235.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18

    Seeherman HJ, Morris EA, Fackelamn GE. Computerized force plate determination of equine weight-bearing profiles. In:Gillespie JR, Robinson NE, ed.Equine exercise physiology. Davis, Calif: ICEEP Publications, 1987;536552.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19

    Buchner HH, Savelberg HH & Schamhardt HC, et al. Bilateral lameness in horses—a kinematic study. Vet Q 1995;17:103105.

  • 20

    Blickhan R, Full RJ. Mechanical work in terrestrial locomotion. In:Biewener A, ed.Biomechanics structures and systems. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992;7596.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 21

    Ahn AN, Furrow E, Biewener AA. Walking and running in the red-legged running frog, Kassina maculata. J Exp Biol 2004;207:399410.

  • 22

    Farley CT, Glasheen J, McMahon TA. Running springs: speed and animal size. J Exp Biol 1993;185:7186.

  • 23

    Bertram JE, D'Antonio P & Pardo J, et al. Pace length effects in human walking: “Groucho” gaits revisited. J Motor Behav 2002;34:309318.

  • 24

    Parchman AJ, Reilly SM, Biknevicius AR. Whole-body mechanics and gaits in the gray short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica: integrating patterns of locomotion in a semi-erect mammal. J Exp Biol 2003;206:13791388.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25

    McMahon TA, Valiant G, Frederick EC. Groucho running. J Appl Physiol 1987;62:23262337.

  • 26

    Rubenson J, Heliams DB & Lloyd DG, et al. Gait selection in the ostrich: mechanical and metabolic characteristics of walking and running with and without an aerial phase. Proc Biol Sci 2004;271:10911099.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 27

    Hutchinson JR, Famini D & Lair R, et al. Biomechanics: are fast-moving elephants really running? Nature 2003;422:493494.

  • 28

    Imus B. Heavenly gaits. Ossining, NY: Breakthrough Publications, 1995;710.

  • 29

    Buchner HH, Obermuller S, Scheidl M. Body centre of mass movement in the sound horse. Vet J 2000;160:225234.

  • 30

    Schamhardt HC, Merkens HW, Van Osch GJVM. Ground reaction force analysis of horses ridden at the walk and trot. Equine Exerc Physiol 1991;3:120127.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 31

    McLaughlin RM Jr, Gaughan EM & Roush JK, et al. Effects of subject velocity on ground reaction force measurements and stance times in clinically normal horses at the walk and trot. Am J Vet Res 1996;57:711.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 32

    Biewener A, Thomason JJ, Lanyon LE. Mechanics of locomotion and jumping in the forelimb of the horse (Equus): in vivo stress developed in the radius and metacarpus. J Zool 1983;201:6782.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 33

    Rubin CT, Lanyon LE. Limb mechanics as a function of speed and gait: a study of functional strains in the radius and tibia of horse and dog. J Exp Biol 1982;101:187211.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 34

    Farley CT, Taylor CR. A mechanical trigger for the trot-gallop transition in horses. Science 1991;253:306308.

Advertisement

Locomotor mechanics of the tölt in Icelandic horses

View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Athens, OH 45701-2979.
  • | 2 McPhail Equine Performance Center, Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1314.
  • | 3 McPhail Equine Performance Center, Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1314.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the locomotor mechanics of the tölt in Icelandic horses.

Animals—10 adult Icelandic horses with no history of lameness.

Procedures—Force platform data were captured for 27 trials for horses ridden at a tölt in a lateral sequence single-foot gait at a steady speed from 0.89 to 5.98 m/s. Simultaneous kinematic data were obtained by tracking retroflective markers overlying the right fore- and hind limbs. These kinetic and kinematic data were combined to evaluate 3 mechanical approaches, duty factor, Froude number, and center of mass (COM) mechanics, and to evaluate the capacity to recover mechanical energies during tölting via inverse pendulum and spring-mass (bouncing) mechanics.

Results—Tölting horses had in-phase fluctuations of gravitational potential and kinetic energies of their COM and a capacity to recover mechanical energy through elastic recoil of spring elements in their limbs. These characteristics, along with Froude numbers exceeding values expected for the walk-run transition, are indicative of bouncing mechanics and, hence, most strongly ally tölting with running. Only the footfall pattern of a lateral sequence single-foot gait and low vertical excursions of the COM are more commonly associated with walking.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—At the tölt, horses have unique mechanical characteristics that should be understood for veterinary care. Differences in interlimb coordination between tölting and trotting mask the overall similarities in most other aspects of their locomotor dynamics.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the locomotor mechanics of the tölt in Icelandic horses.

Animals—10 adult Icelandic horses with no history of lameness.

Procedures—Force platform data were captured for 27 trials for horses ridden at a tölt in a lateral sequence single-foot gait at a steady speed from 0.89 to 5.98 m/s. Simultaneous kinematic data were obtained by tracking retroflective markers overlying the right fore- and hind limbs. These kinetic and kinematic data were combined to evaluate 3 mechanical approaches, duty factor, Froude number, and center of mass (COM) mechanics, and to evaluate the capacity to recover mechanical energies during tölting via inverse pendulum and spring-mass (bouncing) mechanics.

Results—Tölting horses had in-phase fluctuations of gravitational potential and kinetic energies of their COM and a capacity to recover mechanical energy through elastic recoil of spring elements in their limbs. These characteristics, along with Froude numbers exceeding values expected for the walk-run transition, are indicative of bouncing mechanics and, hence, most strongly ally tölting with running. Only the footfall pattern of a lateral sequence single-foot gait and low vertical excursions of the COM are more commonly associated with walking.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—At the tölt, horses have unique mechanical characteristics that should be understood for veterinary care. Differences in interlimb coordination between tölting and trotting mask the overall similarities in most other aspects of their locomotor dynamics.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Biknevicius was supported by National Science Foundation grant IBN 0080158 and Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Clayton was supported by the McPhail Endowment at Michigan State University.

The authors thank Alice Cordier and Will Montgomery for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Biknevicius.