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Vet Q. 1994 May;16(sup2):97-100.

The effect of toe weights on linear and temporal stride characteristics of standardbred trotters.

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a Equine Biomechanics Research Group, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine , Utrecht University , the Netherlands.


Toe weights are applied to influence the stride characteristics of trotters. The quantitative effect of 88-g toe weights on the stride characteristics of Standardbred trotters was evaluated in a kinematic study using a CODA-3 analysis system. Six trotters were studied at a speed of 11 m/s on a treadmill. Temporal gait variables, joint angles, and the trajectories of the forelimb hoof were calculated. The stride patterns of the individual trotters were assessed by a judge and compared to the CODA-output. Those trotters with poor flexion of the carpal joint during the swing phase or with insufficient knee action responded with better carpal flexion and more knee action when toe weights were attached. No effect of toe weights on the protraction of the forelimb could be demonstrated. Stride length, stride duration, and the relative duration of the stance and swing phase as a percentage of the stride did not respond to toe weights. It is concluded that toe weights can be useful in Standardbred trotters, but their effect depends on the individual gait pattern.

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