• 1. Thomason JJ, Biewener AA, Bertram JEA. Surface strain on the equine hoof wall in vivo: implications for the material design and functional morphology of the wall. J Exp Biol 1992; 166: 145168.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2. Thomason J, Cruz AM, Bignell W. In-situ strain measurement on the equine hoof, in Proceedings. Annu Conf Soc Exp Mech 2008;16361642.

  • 3. Thompson KN, Cheung TK, Silverman M. The effect of toe angle on tendon, ligament and hoof wall strains in vitro. J Equine Vet Sci 1993; 11: 651654.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4. Thomason JJ. Variation in surface strain on the equine hoof wall at the midstep with shoeing, gait, substrate, direction of travel, and hoof shape. Equine Vet J Suppl 1998;(26):8695.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5. McClinchey HL, Thomason JJ, Jofriet JC. Isolating the effects of equine hoof shape measurements on capsule strain with finite element analysis. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 2003; 16: 6775.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6. Thomason JJ, Bignell WW & Batiste D et alEffects of hoof shape, body mass and velocity on surface strain in the wall of the unshod forefoot of Standardbreds trotting on a treadmill. Equine Comp Exerc Phys 2003; 1: 8797.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7. Peel JA, Peel MB, Davies HMS. The effect of gallop training on hoof angle in Thoroughbred racehorses. Equine Vet J Suppl 2006;(36):431434.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8. Moleman M, VanHeel CV, Back W. Hoof growth between two shoeing sessions leads to a substantial increase of the moment about the distal, but not the proximal, interphalangeal joint. Equine Vet J 2006; 38: 170174.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9. Faramarzi B, Thomason J, Sears WC. Changes in growth of the hoof wall and hoof morphology in response to regular periods of trotting exercise in Standardbreds. Am J Vet Res 2009; 70: 13541364.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10. Decurnex V, Anderson GA, Davies HMS. Influence of different exercise regimes on the proximal hoof circumference in young Thoroughbred horses. Equine Vet J 2009; 41: 14.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11. Richter SH, Garner CA & Kunert J et alSystematic variation improves reproducibility of animal experiments. Nat Methods 2010; 7: 167168.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12. Dalin G, Jeffcott LB. Biomechanics, gait and conformation. In: Hodgson DR, Rose RJ, eds. The athletic horse. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co, 1994;2748.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13. Gustas P, Johnston C & Roepstorff L et alRelationships between fore- and hind limb ground reaction force and hoof deceleration patterns in trotting horses. Equine Vet J 2004; 36: 737742.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14. Dallap Schaer BL, Ryan CT & Boston RC et alThe horse-racetrack interface: a preliminary study on the effect of shoeing on impact trauma using novel wireless data acquisition system. Equine Vet J 2006; 38: 664670.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15. Savelberg HHCM, Van Loon T, Schamhardt HC. Ground reaction forces in horses assessed from hoof wall deformation using artificial neural networks. Equine Vet J Suppl 1997;(23):68.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16. Biewener AA, Thomason JJ & Goodship A et alBone stress in the horse forelimb during locomotion at different gaits: a comparison of two experimental methods. J Biomechanics 1983; 16: 565576.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17. Witte TH, Knill K, Wilson A. Determination of peak vertical ground reaction forces from duty factor in the horse (Equus caballus). J Exp Biol 2004; 207: 36393648.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18. Witte TH, Hirst CV, Wilson AM. Effect of speed on stride parameters in racehorses at gallop in field conditions. J Exp Biol 2006; 209: 43894397.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19. Chateau H, Deguerce C, Denoix JM. Evaluation of three dimensional kinematics of the distal portion of the forelimb in horses walking in a straight line. Am J Vet Res 2004; 65: 447455.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20. Kasapi MA, Gosline JM. Strain-rate-dependent mechanical properties of the equine hoof wall. J Exp Biol 1996; 199: 11331146.

  • 21. Dutto JD, Hoyt DF & Cogger EA et alGround reaction forces in horses trotting up an incline and on the level over a range of speeds. J Exp Biol 2004; 207: 35073514.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22. Summerley HL, Thomason JJ, Bignell WW. Effect of rider and riding style on deformation of the front hoof wall in warmblood horses. Equine Vet J Suppl 1998;(26):8185.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23. Turner AS, Mills EJ, Gabel AA. In vivo measurement of bone strain in the horse. Am J Vet Res 1975; 36: 15731579.

  • 24. Hood DM, Taylor D, Wagner IP. Effects of ground surface deformability, trimming, and shoeing on quasistatic hoof loading patterns in horses. Am J Vet Res 2001; 62: 895900.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25. Douglas JE, Mittal C & Thomason JJ et alThe modulus of elasticity of equine hoof wall: implications for the mechanical function of the hoof. J Exp Biol 1996; 199: 18291836.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 26. Douglas JE, Biddick TL & Thomason JJ et alStress/strain behavior of the equine laminar junction. J Exp Biol 1998; 201: 22872297.

  • 27. Faramarzi B, Cruz AM, Sears WC. Changes in hoof surface strain distribution in response to moderate exercise in Standardbreds. Am J Vet Res 2011; 72: 484490.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28. Anderson TM, McIlwraith CW, Douay P. The role of conformation in musculoskeletal problems in the racing Thoroughbred. Equine Vet J 2004; 36: 571575.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29. Back W. The role of the hoof and shoeing. In: Back W, Clayton CH, eds. Equine locomotion. London: WB Saunders Co, 2001;135166.

  • 30. Florence L, McDonnel S. Hoof growth and wear of semi-feral ponies during an annual summer ‘self-trimming’ period. Equine Vet J 2006; 38: 642645.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Advertisement

Investigation of forelimb hoof wall strains and hoof shape in unshod horses exercised on a treadmill at various speeds and gaits

Maria C. R. Bellenzani DVM, PhD1, Jonathan S. Merritt BE(Mech), PhD2, Sandy Clarke PhD3, and Helen M. S. Davies BVSc, PhD4
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Large Animal Surgery, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária da Pontifícia, Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, Ave Padre Francis Cletus Cox 1661 CEP 37701-355, Poços de Caldas, MG, Brazil.
  • | 2 Veterinary Clinic and Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne, Werribee, VIC 3030, Australia.
  • | 3 Statistical Consulting Centre, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia.
  • | 4 Veterinary Clinic and Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne, Werribee, VIC 3030, Australia.

Abstract

Objective—To investigate forelimb hoof wall strains and shape changes in unshod horses undergoing regular moderate exercise on a treadmill at selected speeds and gaits.

Animals—6 horses of various body types.

Procedures—Each horse was exercised on a treadmill (walking, trotting, and cantering, with or without galloping at 12.5 m/s) 3 times a week for 4 consecutive weeks; duration of each exercise session ranged from 10 to 14 minutes. During the 4-week period, the proximal hoof circumference (PHC) and toe angle (TA) of each forelimb hoof were measured weekly with a flexible measuring tape and a hoof gauge, respectively. Forelimb hoof wall strains were measured bilaterally at the toe and each quarter (3 strain gauges) immediately before the first and after the last exercise session.

Results—Strain measurements revealed a consistent pattern of deformation of the hoof wall in both forelimbs at all gaits; strains increased during the stance phase of the stride. Strain values were dependent on site and gait. Compared with initial findings, mean TA increased significantly, whereas mean PHC did not, after the 4-week exercise period. A relationship between TA changes and hoof wall strains could not be established.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In unshod horses, forelimb hoof wall strains were affected by site and gait, but not by discrete changes in TA; PHC did not change in response to moderate regular exercise. The pattern of hoof loading was consistent despite significant changes in TA.

Abstract

Objective—To investigate forelimb hoof wall strains and shape changes in unshod horses undergoing regular moderate exercise on a treadmill at selected speeds and gaits.

Animals—6 horses of various body types.

Procedures—Each horse was exercised on a treadmill (walking, trotting, and cantering, with or without galloping at 12.5 m/s) 3 times a week for 4 consecutive weeks; duration of each exercise session ranged from 10 to 14 minutes. During the 4-week period, the proximal hoof circumference (PHC) and toe angle (TA) of each forelimb hoof were measured weekly with a flexible measuring tape and a hoof gauge, respectively. Forelimb hoof wall strains were measured bilaterally at the toe and each quarter (3 strain gauges) immediately before the first and after the last exercise session.

Results—Strain measurements revealed a consistent pattern of deformation of the hoof wall in both forelimbs at all gaits; strains increased during the stance phase of the stride. Strain values were dependent on site and gait. Compared with initial findings, mean TA increased significantly, whereas mean PHC did not, after the 4-week exercise period. A relationship between TA changes and hoof wall strains could not be established.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In unshod horses, forelimb hoof wall strains were affected by site and gait, but not by discrete changes in TA; PHC did not change in response to moderate regular exercise. The pattern of hoof loading was consistent despite significant changes in TA.

Contributor Notes

Supported by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior.

The authors thank Garry A. Anderson for assistance with the statistical analysis and Dr. Colin Burvill for his assistance in strain data analysis.

Address correspondence to Dr. Bellenzani (celia@vetconcept.com.br).