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Equine Vet J. 2002 Mar;34(2):184-90.

A comparison of three horseshoeing styles on the kinetics of breakover in sound horses.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK.


A variety of horseshoe designs are believed to 'ease' breakover, or the unloading of the foot once the heels leave the ground. In this study, conventional toe-clip shoes, quarter-clip shoes, fitted to the white line at the toe, and Natural Balance horseshoes were fitted to the front feet of 9 sound Irish Draught-cross type horses. Forceplate and video motion analyses were undertaken during trot locomotion to determine the moment arm of the ground reaction force on the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint, the peak DIP joint moment and the peak compressive force on the navicular bone. DIP joint moment arm during breakover was reduced with both Natural Balance (mean +/- s.d. 77 +/- 7 mm) and quarter-clip shoes (78 +/- 9 mm) compared to the toe-clip shoes (86 +/- 6 mm) (P<0.01). Peak DIP joint moment was not significantly different (175 +/- 37,171 +/- 38 and 175 +/- 31 Nmm/kg, in Natural Balance, quarter-clip and toe-clip shoes, respectively) and neither was peak force on the navicular bone (5.52 +/- 1.52, 5.79 +/- 1.53 and 6.14 +/- 1.47 N/kg, respectively). Breakover duration (heel off to toe off) was not significantly reduced by the Natural Balance shoes (39 +/- 6 ms) or the quarter-clip shoes (40 +/- 6 ms) compared to toe-clip shoes (42 +/- 9 ms). This study has demonstrated that the use of Natural Balance shoes reduces the moment arm of the ground reaction force (GRF) during breakover but does not reduce the peak DIP joint moment or the force on the navicular bone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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