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  • Author or Editor: Mikihiko Tokuriki x
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Objective—To develop an instrument that could be sandwiched between the hoof and shoe of horses and that would reliably measure vertical ground reaction forces and three-dimensional acceleration at the walk, trot, and canter.

Animals—5 clinically sound Thoroughbreds.

Procedures—The recording instrument (weight, 350 g) consisted of 2 metal plates, 2 bolts, 4 load cells, and 3 accelerometers. It was mounted to the hoof with a glue-on shoe and devised to support as much load exerted by a limb as possible. The load cells and accelerometers were wired to a 16-channel transmitter, and transmitted signals were received and amplified with a telemetry receiver.

Results—The recording instrument could measure in real time the 4 components of the ground reaction force or their resultant force along with acceleration in 3 dimensions as horses walked, trotted, or cantered on a treadmill. Patterns of force-time curves recorded for consecutive strides were similar to each other and to those previously reported, using a force plate.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The recording instrument developed for use in the present study allowed us to record vertical ground reaction force and acceleration in 3 dimensions in horses at the walk, trot, and canter. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:979–985)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the effect of growth and training on metabolic properties in muscle fibers of the gluteus medius muscle in adolescent Thoroughbred horses.

Animals—Twenty 2-year-old Thoroughbreds.

Procedure—Horses were randomly assigned to 2 groups. Horses in the training group were trained for 16 weeks, and control horses were kept on pasture without training. Samples were obtained by use of a needle-biopsy technique from the middle gluteus muscle of each horse before and after the training period. Composition and oxidative enzyme (succinic dehydrogenase [SDH]) activity of each fiber type were determined by use of quantitative histochemical staining procedures. Whole-muscle activity of SDH and glycolytic enzyme (phosphofructokinase) as well as myosin heavy-chain isoforms were analyzed biochemically and electrophoretically, respectively.

Results—The SDH activity of type-I and -IIA fibers increased during growth, whereas whole-muscle activity was unchanged. Percentage of type-IIX/B muscle fibers decreased during training, whereas that of myosin heavy-chain IIa increased. The SDH activity of each fiber type as well as whole-muscle SDH activity increased during training. An especially noticeable increase in SDH activity was found in type-IIX/B fibers.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Changes in muscle fibers of adolescent Thoroughbreds are caused by training and not by growth. The most noticeable change was for the SDH activity of type-IIX/B fibers. These changes in the gluteus medius muscle of adolescent Thoroughbreds were considered to be appropriate adaptations to running middle distances at high speeds. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1408–1412)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research