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Lateralised motor behaviour leads to increased unevenness in front feet and asymmetry in athletic performance in young mature Warmblood horses

MCV van Heel, Machteld van Dierendonck UGent, AM Kroekenstoel and Willem Back UGent (2010) EQUINE VETERINARY JOURNAL. 42(5). p.444-450
abstract
Reason for performing study: Foot stance in grazing significantly influences hoof conformation and development from foal to yearling age. Objectives: To conduct a longitudinal study to establish if the relationship between motor laterality and uneven front feet persisted in 3-year-old horses at the time of studbook selection and to investigate if such laterality and unevenness might influence the horses' ability to perform symmetrically while trotting, cantering and free jumping. Methods: Seventeen clinically sound but untrained (with only minimal experience of handling) and sound Warmblood horses that had participated in a previous study were assessed as per the protocol reported. Laterality was tested in a preference test (PT) and z-values were calculated for analysis purposes. Laterality and hoof unevenness were related to both relative limb length and relative head size, while the ability to perform symmetrically was tested in free trot-canter transitions and free jumping exercises. Differences in performance between horses with and without a limb preference in the PT and those with 'uneven' and 'even' feet were tested for differences in performance metrics using Students' t test, while linearity was tested using a regression analysis (P < 0.05). Results: Significant laterality was still present in 24% of the 3-year-old horses and the relationship between laterality and uneven feet pairs was stronger than at foal and yearling stages. Horses with significant motor laterality had almost 4 times more unevenness, a smaller head and longer limbs and the relationship between body conformation and laterality was still present. There was a strong linear relation between unevenness, laterality and a bias or side preference for trot-canter transitions. However, this relationship was not significant during the free jumping exercise. Conclusion: Motor laterality and uneven feet pairs were still present and significantly related in the 3-year-old horses and both variables were also strongly related to sidedness in trot-canter transitions. Potential relevance: Warmblood studbooks should include quantitative data on laterality at the time of studbook admission as part of the selection criteria.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
CONFORMATIONAL TRAITS, HERITABILITY, NATIONAL HUNT RACEHORSES, uneven feet, preference, performance, horse, laterality, conformation, HEIGHT, DISTAL, COHORT, FOALS
journal title
EQUINE VETERINARY JOURNAL
Equine Vet. J.
volume
42
issue
5
pages
444 - 450
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000278646900012
JCR category
VETERINARY SCIENCES
JCR impact factor
1.799 (2010)
JCR rank
20/145 (2010)
JCR quartile
1 (2010)
ISSN
0425-1644
DOI
10.1111/j.2042-3306.2010.00064.x
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
1091472
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1091472
date created
2010-12-22 15:08:23
date last changed
2015-03-18 10:18:13
@article{1091472,
  abstract     = {Reason for performing study: Foot stance in grazing significantly influences hoof conformation and development from foal to yearling age.
Objectives: To conduct a longitudinal study to establish if the relationship between motor laterality and uneven front feet persisted in 3-year-old horses at the time of studbook selection and to investigate if such laterality and unevenness might influence the horses' ability to perform symmetrically while trotting, cantering and free jumping.
Methods: Seventeen clinically sound but untrained (with only minimal experience of handling) and sound Warmblood horses that had participated in a previous study were assessed as per the protocol reported. Laterality was tested in a preference test (PT) and z-values were calculated for analysis purposes. Laterality and hoof unevenness were related to both relative limb length and relative head size, while the ability to perform symmetrically was tested in free trot-canter transitions and free jumping exercises. Differences in performance between horses with and without a limb preference in the PT and those with 'uneven' and 'even' feet were tested for differences in performance metrics using Students' t test, while linearity was tested using a regression analysis (P {\textlangle} 0.05).
Results: Significant laterality was still present in 24\% of the 3-year-old horses and the relationship between laterality and uneven feet pairs was stronger than at foal and yearling stages. Horses with significant motor laterality had almost 4 times more unevenness, a smaller head and longer limbs and the relationship between body conformation and laterality was still present. There was a strong linear relation between unevenness, laterality and a bias or side preference for trot-canter transitions. However, this relationship was not significant during the free jumping exercise.
Conclusion: Motor laterality and uneven feet pairs were still present and significantly related in the 3-year-old horses and both variables were also strongly related to sidedness in trot-canter transitions.
Potential relevance: Warmblood studbooks should include quantitative data on laterality at the time of studbook admission as part of the selection criteria.},
  author       = {van Heel, MCV and van Dierendonck, Machteld and Kroekenstoel, AM and Back, Willem},
  issn         = {0425-1644},
  journal      = {EQUINE VETERINARY JOURNAL},
  keyword      = {CONFORMATIONAL TRAITS,HERITABILITY,NATIONAL HUNT RACEHORSES,uneven feet,preference,performance,horse,laterality,conformation,HEIGHT,DISTAL,COHORT,FOALS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {444--450},
  title        = {Lateralised motor behaviour leads to increased unevenness in front feet and asymmetry in athletic performance in young mature Warmblood horses},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2042-3306.2010.00064.x},
  volume       = {42},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
van Heel, MCV, Machteld van Dierendonck, AM Kroekenstoel, and Willem Back. 2010. “Lateralised Motor Behaviour Leads to Increased Unevenness in Front Feet and Asymmetry in Athletic Performance in Young Mature Warmblood Horses.” Equine Veterinary Journal 42 (5): 444–450.
APA
van Heel, M., van Dierendonck, M., Kroekenstoel, A., & Back, W. (2010). Lateralised motor behaviour leads to increased unevenness in front feet and asymmetry in athletic performance in young mature Warmblood horses. EQUINE VETERINARY JOURNAL, 42(5), 444–450.
Vancouver
1.
van Heel M, van Dierendonck M, Kroekenstoel A, Back W. Lateralised motor behaviour leads to increased unevenness in front feet and asymmetry in athletic performance in young mature Warmblood horses. EQUINE VETERINARY JOURNAL. 2010;42(5):444–50.
MLA
van Heel, MCV, Machteld van Dierendonck, AM Kroekenstoel, et al. “Lateralised Motor Behaviour Leads to Increased Unevenness in Front Feet and Asymmetry in Athletic Performance in Young Mature Warmblood Horses.” EQUINE VETERINARY JOURNAL 42.5 (2010): 444–450. Print.