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Assessment of the effect of horseshoes with and without traction adaptations on the gait kinetics of nonlame horses during a trot on a concrete runway

Pengju Wang BVM, MS1, Catherine Takawira MSc1, Takashi Taguchi DVM, MS1, Xiao Niu BVM1, Munir D. Nazzal PhD2, and Mandi J. Lopez DVM, PhD1
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.
  • | 2 Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management, College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess the effect of horseshoes with and without traction adaptations on the gait kinetics of nonlame horses during a trot on a concrete runway.

ANIMALS

5 nonlame adult light-breed horses.

PROCEDURES

Kinetic data were obtained for each horse when it was trotted across a force platform within a concrete runway unshod (control) and shod with standard horseshoes; standard horseshoes with high profile–low surface area calks, with low profile–high surface area calks, and coated with a thin layer of tungsten carbide (TLTC); and plastic-steel composite (PSC) horseshoes. Kinetic data were obtained for the control treatment first, then for each of the 5 shoe types, which were applied to each horse in a random order. Kinetic variables were compared among the 6 treatments.

RESULTS

Body weight distribution did not differ among the 6 treatments. Compared with the control, the greatest increase in forelimb peak vertical force was observed when horses were shod with PSC shoes. In the hind limbs, the greatest increase in peak braking force was observed when horses were shod with PSC shoes, followed by the TLTC and low profile–high surface area calked shoes. The PSC shoes yielded the greatest coefficient of friction in both the forelimbs and hind limbs. Stance time was longest when horses were shod with standard shoes.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that PSC and TLTC shoes provided the best hoof protection and traction and might be good options for horses that spend a large amount of time traversing paved surfaces.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess the effect of horseshoes with and without traction adaptations on the gait kinetics of nonlame horses during a trot on a concrete runway.

ANIMALS

5 nonlame adult light-breed horses.

PROCEDURES

Kinetic data were obtained for each horse when it was trotted across a force platform within a concrete runway unshod (control) and shod with standard horseshoes; standard horseshoes with high profile–low surface area calks, with low profile–high surface area calks, and coated with a thin layer of tungsten carbide (TLTC); and plastic-steel composite (PSC) horseshoes. Kinetic data were obtained for the control treatment first, then for each of the 5 shoe types, which were applied to each horse in a random order. Kinetic variables were compared among the 6 treatments.

RESULTS

Body weight distribution did not differ among the 6 treatments. Compared with the control, the greatest increase in forelimb peak vertical force was observed when horses were shod with PSC shoes. In the hind limbs, the greatest increase in peak braking force was observed when horses were shod with PSC shoes, followed by the TLTC and low profile–high surface area calked shoes. The PSC shoes yielded the greatest coefficient of friction in both the forelimbs and hind limbs. Stance time was longest when horses were shod with standard shoes.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that PSC and TLTC shoes provided the best hoof protection and traction and might be good options for horses that spend a large amount of time traversing paved surfaces.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Lopez (mlopez@lsu.edu).