Looking For Lameness During A Pre-Purchase Exam

Ohio vet and farrier corrects asymmetrical gaits with wireless sensors

Prospective horse owners depend on pre-purchase exams to uncover issues that could potentially affect a horse’s performance — particularly hidden lameness.

Adam Pendleton, an equine veterinarian and farrier, discussed a pre-purchase exam he conducted on a 10-year-old Quarter Horse mare during which he utilized an interesting method to determine the mare’s soundness: the Equinosis Q with Lameness Locator.

The Equinosis Q, which is manufactured by Columbia, Mo.-based Equinosis LLC, uses wireless sensors to track a horse’s movement accurately to less than 1 millimeter. It uses algorithms that compute precise lameness metrics the human eye can’t detect.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Asymmetry can easily be mistaken for lameness.
  • When hooves are mismatched, the under-run foot should be trimmed first, rather than the club foot.
  • Asymmetry can be treated with shoeing that corrects uneven feet.

“The Equinosis Q is a system of inertial sensors, and it measures gait asymmetry, which, in my practice, seems to have really been a huge benefit,” Pendleton told attendees of the Delta Mustad Hoof Care Center Summer Lunchtime Panel at the 2018 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio. “The great thing is that you take the baseline data, and you have a digital copy of that to refer back to. And it’s not subjective.”

He adds that the tool is a very good iden­tifier of gait asym­metry.

“I think we have to extrapolate what we think causes asym­metry, how significant it is for the horse, and how it affects performance,” says Pendleton, who practices performance horse med­icine and podiatry…

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Audrey Pavia

Audrey Pavia is a freelance writer and author of 23 books about animals. She lives with a host of animals at her Norco, Calif., home.

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