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Functional locomotor consequences of uneven forefeet for trot symmetry in individual riding horses

(2015) PLOS ONE. 10(2).
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Abstract
Left-right symmetrical distal limb conformation can be an important prerequisite for a successful performance, and it is often hypothesized that asymmetric or uneven feet are important enhancing factors for the development of lameness. On a population level, it has been demonstrated that uneven footed horses are retiring earlier from elite level competition, but the biomechanical consequences are not yet known. The objectives of this study were to compare the functional locomotor asymmetries of horses with uneven to those with even feet. Hoof kinetics and distal limb kinematics were collected from horses (n = 34) at trot. Dorsal hoof wall angle was used to classify horses as even or uneven (< 1.5 and > 1.5 degrees difference between forefeet respectively) and individual feet as flat (< 50 degrees), medium (between 50 degrees and 55 degrees) or upright (> 55 degrees). Functional kinetic parameters were compared between even and uneven forefeet using MANOVA followed by ANOVA. The relative influences of differences in hoof angle between the forefeet and of absolute hoof angle on functional parameters were analysed using multiple regression analysis (P<0.05). In horses with uneven feet, the side with the flatter foot showed a significantly larger maximal horizontal braking and vertical ground reaction force, a larger vertical fetlock displacement and a suppler fetlock spring. The foot with a steeper hoof angle was linearly correlated with an earlier braking-propulsion transition. The conformational differences between both forefeet were more important for loading characteristics than the individual foot conformation of each individual horse. The differences in vertical force and braking force between uneven forefeet could imply either an asymmetrical loading pattern without a pathological component or a subclinical lameness as a result of a pathological development in the steeper foot.
Keywords
SWEDISH WARMBLOOD, GROUND REACTION FORCES, 3D KINEMATICS, 3-DIMENSIONAL KINEMATICS, FOOT CONFORMATION, DISTAL FORELIMB, HOOF ANGLE, FRONT FEET, LAMENESS, JOINT

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Chicago
Wiggers, Nathan, Sandra LP Nauwelaerts, Sarah Jane Hobbs, Sophie Bool, Claudia F Wolschrijn, and Willem Back. 2015. “Functional Locomotor Consequences of Uneven Forefeet for Trot Symmetry in Individual Riding Horses.” Plos One 10 (2).
APA
Wiggers, N., Nauwelaerts, S. L., Hobbs, S. J., Bool, S., Wolschrijn, C. F., & Back, W. (2015). Functional locomotor consequences of uneven forefeet for trot symmetry in individual riding horses. PLOS ONE, 10(2).
Vancouver
1.
Wiggers N, Nauwelaerts SL, Hobbs SJ, Bool S, Wolschrijn CF, Back W. Functional locomotor consequences of uneven forefeet for trot symmetry in individual riding horses. PLOS ONE. 2015;10(2).
MLA
Wiggers, Nathan et al. “Functional Locomotor Consequences of Uneven Forefeet for Trot Symmetry in Individual Riding Horses.” PLOS ONE 10.2 (2015): n. pag. Print.
@article{7095675,
  abstract     = {Left-right symmetrical distal limb conformation can be an important prerequisite for a successful performance, and it is often hypothesized that asymmetric or uneven feet are important enhancing factors for the development of lameness. On a population level, it has been demonstrated that uneven footed horses are retiring earlier from elite level competition, but the biomechanical consequences are not yet known. The objectives of this study were to compare the functional locomotor asymmetries of horses with uneven to those with even feet. 
Hoof kinetics and distal limb kinematics were collected from horses (n = 34) at trot. Dorsal hoof wall angle was used to classify horses as even or uneven (< 1.5 and > 1.5 degrees difference between forefeet respectively) and individual feet as flat (< 50 degrees), medium (between 50 degrees and 55 degrees) or upright (> 55 degrees). Functional kinetic parameters were compared between even and uneven forefeet using MANOVA followed by ANOVA. The relative influences of differences in hoof angle between the forefeet and of absolute hoof angle on functional parameters were analysed using multiple regression analysis (P<0.05). 
In horses with uneven feet, the side with the flatter foot showed a significantly larger maximal horizontal braking and vertical ground reaction force, a larger vertical fetlock displacement and a suppler fetlock spring. The foot with a steeper hoof angle was linearly correlated with an earlier braking-propulsion transition. 
The conformational differences between both forefeet were more important for loading characteristics than the individual foot conformation of each individual horse. The differences in vertical force and braking force between uneven forefeet could imply either an asymmetrical loading pattern without a pathological component or a subclinical lameness as a result of a pathological development in the steeper foot.},
  articleno    = {e0114836},
  author       = {Wiggers, Nathan and Nauwelaerts, Sandra LP and Hobbs, Sarah Jane and Bool, Sophie and Wolschrijn, Claudia F and Back, Willem},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  journal      = {PLOS ONE},
  keywords     = {SWEDISH WARMBLOOD,GROUND REACTION FORCES,3D KINEMATICS,3-DIMENSIONAL KINEMATICS,FOOT CONFORMATION,DISTAL FORELIMB,HOOF ANGLE,FRONT FEET,LAMENESS,JOINT},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {14},
  title        = {Functional locomotor consequences of uneven forefeet for trot symmetry in individual riding horses},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0114836},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2015},
}

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