BW, body size, and relative dog velocity must be accounted for when wanting to obtain GRF variables that are comparable between different dogs.
Summary Reasons for performing study: The compensatory mechanisms of horses with weightbearing hindlimb lameness are still not fully understood. Hypothesis: That weightbearing, unilateral hindlimb lameness would not only alter stride characteristics to diminish structural stress in the affected limb but also induce compensatory load adjustments in the other supporting limbs. Objective: To document the load and time shifting mechanisms of horses with unilateral weightbearing hindlimb lameness. Methods: Reversible lameness was induced in 8 clinically sound horses by applying a solar pressure model. Three degrees of lameness (subtle, mild and moderate) were induced and compared with the nonlame (sound) control measurement. Vertical ground reaction forces were recorded for all 4 limbs simultaneously on an instrumented treadmill. Results: Compared to the sound situation, moderate hindlimb hoof lameness induced a decrease in stride duration (‐3.3%) and stride impulse (‐3.1%). Diagonal impulse decreased selectively in the lame diagonal stance (‐7.7%). Within the diagonal limb pair, vertical impulse was shifted to the forelimb during the lame diagonal stance (+6.5%) and to the hindlimb during the sound diagonal stance (+3.2%). Peak vertical force and vertical impulse decreased in the lame limb (‐15%), but only vertical impulse increased in the contralateral hindlimb (+5.7%). Stance duration was prolonged in both hindlimbs (+2.5%). Suspension duration was reduced to a greater extent after push‐off of the lame diagonal limb pair (‐21%) than after the sound diagonal limb pair (‐9.2%). Conclusions: Four compensatory mechanisms could be identified that served to reduce structural stress, i.e. peak vertical force on the affected limb: 1) reduction of the total vertical impulse per stride; 2) diagonal impulse decreased selectively in the lame diagonal; 3) impulse was shifted within the lame diagonal to the forelimb and in the sound diagonal to the hindlimb; and 4) the rate of loading and peak forces were reduced by prolonging the stance duration. Potential relevance: Load shifting mechanisms are not only effective in diminishing peak forces in the affected limb, but also suppress compensatory overload in other limbs. Selected force and time parameters allow the unequivocal identification of the lame limb. Future studies have to examine how far these compensatory mechanisms may be generalised for other defined orthopaedic problems in the hindlimb.
Summary Reasons for performing study: Little is known in quantitative terms about the influence of different head‐neck positions (HNPs) on the loading pattern of the locomotor apparatus. Therefore it is difficult to predict whether a specific riding technique is beneficial for the horse or if it may increase the risk for injury. Objective: To improve the understanding of forelimb‐hindlimb balance and its underlying temporal changes in relation to different head and neck positions. Methods: Vertical ground reaction force and time parameters of each limb were measured in 7 high level dressage horses while being ridden at walk and trot on an instrumented treadmill in 6 predetermined HNPs: HNP1 ‐ free, unrestrained with loose reins; HNP2 ‐ neck raised, bridge of the nose in front of the vertical; HNP3 ‐ neck raised, bridge of the nose behind the vertical; HNP4 ‐ neck lowered and flexed, bridge of the nose considerably behind the vertical; HNP5 ‐ neck extremely elevated and bridge of the nose considerably in front of the vertical; HNP6 ‐ neck and head extended forward and downward. Positions were judged by a qualified dressage judge. HNPs were assessed by comparing the data to a velocity‐matched reference HNP (HNP2). Differences were tested using paired t test or Wilcoxon signed rank test (P<0.05). Results: At the walk, stride duration and overreach distance increased in HNP1, but decreased in HNP3 and HNP5. Stride impulse was shifted to the forehand in HNP1 and HNP6, but shifted to the hindquarters in HNP5. At the trot, stride duration increased in HNP4 and HNP5. Overreach distance was shorter in HNP4. Stride impulse shifted to the hindquarters in HNP5. In HNP1 peak forces decreased in the forelimbs; in HNP5 peak forces increased in fore‐ and hindlimbs. Conclusions: HNP5 had the biggest impact on limb timing and load distribution and behaved inversely to HNP1 and HNP6. Shortening of forelimb stance duration in HNP5 increased peak forces although the percentage of stride impulse carried by the forelimbs decreased. Potential relevance: An extremely high HNP affects functionality much more than an extremely low neck.
This instrumented treadmill allows a reliable assessment of load distribution and interlimb coordination in a short period and, therefore, is suitable for use in experimental and clinical investigations.
SummaryReasons for performing study: Gait analysis parameters are sensitive to alterations in velocity. For comparison of nonspeed-matched data, the velocity dependency needs to be known. Objectives: To describe the changes in gait pattern and determine the relationships between stride duration, vertical impulse, contact time and peak vertical force within a range of walking and trotting speeds. Methods: Thirty-eight nonlame Warmblood horses were subjected to an incremental speed test. The spans of speed were adjusted individually to each horse and ranged from 1.1-2.1 m/s at walk and from 2.5-5.8 m/s at trot. Time, force and spatial parameters of each limb were measured with an instrumented treadmill and analysed with regression analysis using velocity as the independent variable. Results: At a slow walk the shape of the force curve was generally single-peaked in the fore-and trapezoidal in the hindlimbs. With increasing speed, the curves turned into the typical double-peaked shape with a higher second peak in the fore-and a higher first peak in the hindlimbs. With increasing velocity, stride duration, stance durations and limb impulses of the foreand hindlimbs decreased in both gaits (r 2 >0.92). Increasing speed caused a weight shift to the forehand (walk: from 56 to 59%; trot: from 55 to 57%). Despite decreasing limb impulses, peak vertical forces increased in both gaits (r 2 >0.83). The suspension duration of the trot increased with faster velocities and reached a plateau of around 90 ms at the highest speeds. At a slow trot, the forelimbs impacted first and followed the hindlimbs at lift-off; with increasing speed, the horses tended to impact earlier with the hindlimbs. Contralateral symmetry indices of all parameters remained unchanged. Conclusions: Subject velocity affects time, force and spatial parameters. Knowing the mathematical function of these interdependencies enables correction of nonspeedmatched data.
SummaryReasons for performing the study: Similar to human decubitus ulcers, local high pressure points from ill-fitting saddles induce perfusion disturbances of different degrees resulting in tissue hypoxia and alteration in sweat production. Objective: To relate the different clinical manifestations of saddle sores to the magnitude of saddle pressures at the location of the withers. Methods: Sixteen horses with dry spots after exercise (Group A)and 7 cases presented with acute clinical signs of saddle pressure in the withers area (Group B) were compared with a control group of 16 sound horses with well fitting saddles (Group C). All horses underwent a saddle pressure measurement at walk, trot and canter. Mean and maximal pressures in the area of interest were compared between groups within each gait. Results: Mean pressures differed significantly between groups in all 3 gaits. Maximal pressure differed between groups at trot; at walk and canter, however, the only significant difference was between Group C and Groups A and B, respectively, (P>0.05). Mean and maximal pressures at walk in Group A were 15.3 and 30.6 kPa, in Group B 24.0 and 38.9 kPa and in Group C 7.8 and 13.4 kPa, respectively; at trot in Group A 18.1 and 43.4 kPa, in Group B 29.7 and 53.3 kPa and in Group C 9.8 and 21.0 kPa, respectively; and at canter in Group A 21.4 and 48.9 kPa, in Group B 28.6 and 56.0 kPa and in Group C 10.9 and 24.7 kPa, respectively. Conclusion: The study shows that there is a distinguishable difference between the 3 groups regarding the mean pressure value, in all gaits.
Relationship between the forces acting on the horse's back and the movements of rider and horse while walking on a treadmill von Peinen, K von Peinen, K. Relationship between the forces acting on the horse's back and the movements of rider and horse while walking on a treadmill. 2009 Relationship between the forces acting on the horse's back and the movements of rider and horse while walking on a treadmill Abstract Reasons for performing the study: The exact relationship between the saddle pressure pattern during one stride cycle and the movements of horse and rider at the walk are poorly understood and have never been investigated in detail. Hypothesis: The movements of rider and horse account for the force distribution pattern under the saddle. Method: Vertical ground reaction forces (GRF), kinematics of horse and rider as well as saddle forces (FS) were measured synchronously in 7 high level dressage horses while being ridden on an instrumented treadmill at walk. Discrete values of the total saddle forces (FStot) were determined for each stride and related to kinematics and GRF. The pressure sensitive mat was divided into halves and sixths to assess the force distribution over the horses back in more detail. Differences were tested using a one sample t-test (p<0.05). Results: FStot of all the horses showed 3 peaks (P1-P3) and 3 minima (M1-M3) in each half-cycle, which were systematically related to the footfall sequence of the walk. Looking at the halves of the mat, force curves were 50% phase-shifted. The analysis of the FS of the 6 sections showed a clear association to the rider's and horse's movements. Conclusion: The saddle force distribution during an entire stride cycle has a distinct pattern although the force fluctuations of the FStot are small. The forces in the front thirds were clearly related to the movement of the front limbs, those in the mid part to the lateral flexion of the horse's spine and the loading of the hind part was mainly influenced by the axial rotation and lateral bending of the back. Potential relevance: This data can be used as a reference for comparing different types of saddle fit.
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