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Changes in Hoof Shape During a Seven-Week Period When Horses Were Shod Versus Barefoot
Open AccessArticle

Trot Accelerations of Equine Front and Hind Hooves Shod with Polyurethane Composite Shoes and Steel Shoes on Asphalt

1
University Equine Hospital, Department for Companion Animals and Horses, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, A-1210 Vienna, Austria
2
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, A-1190 Vienna, Austria
3
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.
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1119; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121119
Received: 15 November 2019 / Revised: 6 December 2019 / Accepted: 9 December 2019 / Published: 11 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics of the Exercising Animals)
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.
The present study investigated accelerations of the front and hind hooves of horses comparing two different shoe types. A standard steel shoe, with studs, pins, and in some instances with toe grabs, was compared to a steel shoe covered on the bottom with a layer of polyurethane. Four horses were used; they trotted in hand on an asphalt track at their self-selected speed. The results showed significantly reduced decelerations during the stance phase with the polyurethane-covered shoes (10th percentile median steel −2.77 g, polyurethane −2.46 g; p = 0.06) and significantly increased decelerations in front hooves compared to hind hooves with steel shoes (70th percentile median −1.04 g front hooves, 0.12 g hind hooves, p = 0.04). Horses trotted faster using longer strides with the polyurethane-covered shoes compared to the steel shoes. The results show that effects of shoe types should be investigated simultaneously in front and hind hooves, and that PU shoes may aid in reducing the overload present in the front limbs of horses. View Full-Text
Keywords: horse; hoof; horseshoe; polyurethane; steel; trot; asphalt horse; hoof; horseshoe; polyurethane; steel; trot; asphalt
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Moore, L.V.; Zsoldos, R.R.; Licka, T.F. Trot Accelerations of Equine Front and Hind Hooves Shod with Polyurethane Composite Shoes and Steel Shoes on Asphalt. Animals 2019, 9, 1119.

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