Research reveals the importance of hoof balance

| February 6, 2015 | 0 Comments
A photograph and three-dimensional reconstruction of one uneven footed horse showing the marker set used in the study. The photograph shows the anatomical and tracking markers used for the study. It illustrates the definition of a horse with uneven feet where the right forelimb has a lower hoof angle and the left forelimb has a higher hoof angle. The lower image provides an example of the functional consequences of unevenness in one horse with a difference in dorsal hoof wall angle of 8 degrees. The hoof on the left has the lower hoof angle. Images: PLoS ONE

A photograph and three-dimensional reconstruction of one uneven footed horse showing the marker set used in the study. © PLoS ONE

A team of international researchers which assessed the front legs of 34 riding horses at a trot, found evidence that uneven feet appeared to have more influence on loading factors than the individual foot characteristics of each horse.

They said left-right symmetry in the lower legs can be an important prerequisite for a successful performance.

“On a population level, it has been demonstrated that uneven footed horses are retiring earlier from elite level competition, but the biomechanical consequences are not yet known,” they reported.

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