Researchers from Germany and the Netherlands performed a series of experiments to validate the use of hoof mounted inertia measuring devices compared with high-speed video analysis to measure stride characteristics at the walk and trot on firm and soft ground.

One sound horse was instrumented with the inertia measuring device then walked and trotted in-hand while being filmed with markers also attached to the lower limb.

Correlations of timing measures were very strong (>0.90) for timing characteristics such as step, swing and stance durations as well as step length on both types of ground surface at the walk and trot. Landing, midstance and breakover durations were also correlated between the two methods, but the agreement was more variable and lower at the trot on softer ground.

The inertia measuring device performed better measuring parameters during the stance phase on soft ground with greater accuracy compared with the visual system. Since comparatively less equipment and instrumentation of the limb is needed with the hoof mounted inertia measuring device compared with the video system with its limb markers, cameras, recording and playback equipment. The authors suggest the approach using hoof mounted inertia measuring devices will be faster, easier and more practical for daily use such as for lameness diagnostics or assessing the effects of trimming and shoeing.

— Hagen J et al. JEVS 2021;101:103454

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