Trot Accelerations of Equine Front and Hind Hooves Shod with Polyurethane Composite Shoes and Steel Shoes on Asphalt
University Equine Hospital, Department for Companion Animals and Horses, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, A-1210 Vienna, Austria
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, A-1190 Vienna, Austria
Royal (Dick) school of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9YL, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current: The University of Queensland, School of Agriculture and Food ScDiences, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia.
Received: 15 November 2019 / Revised: 6 December 2019 / Accepted: 9 December 2019 / Published: 11 December 2019
In the present study, the acceleration occurring during trot on asphalt with two types of horseshoes were compared in horses commonly used for carriage driving in the city of Vienna. Both types of shoes were nailed onto the hooves; one shoe was a traditional steel shoe, while the other one was a steel shoe whose ground surface was covered with soft polyurethane (PU). Four horses were used to measure hoof accelerations during trotting in hand on an asphalt track, similar to a city street. With the polyurethane-covered shoes, hooves experienced less abrupt deceleration during landing; moreover, they also experienced more acceleration after push off from the ground. Front and hind hooves showed similar accelerations when shod with the polyurethane-covered shoe, while front hooves were undergoing harder deceleration than hind hooves when shod with the traditional steel shoe. Finally, with the softer shoes horses trotted faster and with longer strides than with the steel shoes. This indicates that PU shoes may aid in reducing the overload present in the front limbs of horses.