Thursday, December 20, 2012

Look, Mom--No Shoes! - Full Article

By Natalie Voss • Dec 13, 2012 • Article #31056

Just in time for winter--a time when many owners opt to pull their horses' shoes for the season--a team of researchers has released results from a study examining the effects of normal gaits on hoof wear in barefoot horses.

Six horses of varying ages and weights were exercised at a walk, trot, canter, and gallop on a treadmill for three exercise sessions a week for four weeks. Scientists measured the strain on the hoof walls using strain gauges and evaluated proximal hoof circumference and toe angle at various points in the exercise period.

Study author Maria Célia Ramos Bellenzani, PhD, a large animal surgery instructor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and colleagues, found that in most cases, the horses' front hooves landed with the outside edges on the ground first, and shift the weight toward the toe and inside of the foot...

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