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Am J Vet Res. 2001 Jun;62(6):895-900.

Effects of ground surface deformability, trimming, and shoeing on quasistatic hoof loading patterns in horses.

Author information

1
Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843-4466, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether solar load distribution pattern on a solid nondeformable ground surface is the product of contact erosion and is the mirror image of load distribution on a deformable surface in horses.

ANIMALS:

30 clinically normal horses.

PROCEDURES:

Solar load distribution was compared among 25 clinically normal horses during quasistatic loading on a solid nondeformable surface and on a highly deformable surface. Changes in solar load distribution patterns were evaluated in 5 previously pasture-maintained horses housed on a flat nondeformable surface. Changes in solar load distribution created by traditional trimming and shoeing were recorded.

RESULTS:

Unshod untrimmed horses had a 4-point (12/25, 48%) or a 3-point (13/25, 52%) wall load distribution pattern on a flat solid surface. Load distribution on a deformable ground surface was principally solar and located transversely across the central region of the foot. Ground surface contact areas on solid (24.2 +/- 8.62 cm2) and deformable (69.4 +/- 22.55 cm2) surfaces were significantly different. Maintaining unshod horses on a flat nondeformable surface resulted in a loss of the 3- and 4-point loading pattern and an increase in ground surface contact area (17.9 +/- 2.77 to 39.9 +/- 12.77 cm2). Trimming increased ground surface contact area (24.2 +/- 8.60 to 45.7 +/- 14.89 cm2).

CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

In horses, the solar surface is the primary weight-loading surface, and deformability of ground surface may have a role in foot expansion during loading. Increased surface area induced by loading on deformable surfaces, trimming, and shoeing protects the foot.

PMID:
11400847
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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