An investigation to determine horse-hoof slippage following jump landing on two different equine arena surfaces

Orlande, Odette (2009) An investigation to determine horse-hoof slippage following jump landing on two different equine arena surfaces. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The slipping of the equine foot at the moment of impact during high-speed locomotion is known to be a common cause of soft-tissue injury. Show-jumpers are reported to require a small amount of slide as they land; this suggests the amount of slide has a narrow safety margin in order to prevent injury. The aim of the study was to compare hoof slide on two different artificial surfaces and investigate relationships between hoof slide and surface properties. A contact mat and hoof reference marker were designed and validated, the former to indicate the moment of impact and the latter to provide a visible reference marker on the lateral hoof wall. The leading right-forelimb of six horses was recorded during jump landing on a 10 % waxed and 3 % waxed surface.
Five successful jump trials plus one where the forelimb landed on the contact mat were recorded at 500 Hz using a calibrated high speed camera positioned perpendicular to the landing. Surface traction, hardness and penetration were measured between horses. Horizontal displacement of the hoof reference marker was plotted and smoothed with a
Butterworth filter at 25 Hz cut off. Hoof slide was then measured from impact to midstance. Data were analysed using a paired samples t test and Pearson correlations. A significant difference in hoof slide (10 % wax4.86 cm ±1.59, 3 % wax7.05 cm ±2.53) was found between the two surfaces (P<0.01). In addition, on the 10 % waxed surface hoof slide increased as penetration depth increased and hardness decreased (P<0.05).
Hoof slide was greater on the 3 % waxed surface although no relationships to mechanical properties were found, which suggests that the surface properties have less influence on performance. Slip was less on the 10 % waxed surface and correlations suggest that hoof slip can be influenced by the mechanical properties of the surface.

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