Take-home message</h5> Routine farriery had little influence on movement symmetry in sound horses, contradicting claims that routine farriery can lead to asymmetry of movement.</P>Introduction</h5> Horses are shod regularly to protect the hooves from excessive wear, keeping the horse sound and able to perform optimally. Movement symmetry (MS) is often considered a soundness indicator. We assessed the effects of each stage of routine farriery on MS.</P>Materials and Methods</h5> Thirty Irish Sport-type horses from the Royal Artillery King’s Troop were assessed before and after shoeing (front feet, n=13; hind feet, n=13). The horses were 4–21 years of age and measured 1.58–1.85 m. Two previously published MS measures were calculated from inertial sensors over the poll and sacrum at 4 shoeing stages: with old shoes, shoes removed, after trimming, and after being reshod and dressed.</P>Results</h5> There were no significant influences of shoeing stage on head or pelvic MS. However, after adjusting for baseline MS, there were significant changes in MS between the shoeing stages for both pelvic MS measures (p = 0.013 and 0.04).</P>Discussion and Conclusions</h5> The shoeing process seemingly has limited influence on MS in sound horses when shod frequently (here, every 2–3 weeks). However, the significant changes between the shoeing stages indicate that MS effects may be masked by the baseline MS of each horse. Further studies are required in horses with specific movement asymmetries.</P>
Journal of Equine Veterinary Science – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2013
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