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While heel studs can keep feet from slipping when a horse gallops over grass, their ultimate biomechanical effects are still not fully understood. Researchers from England’s University of Liverpool and the Royal Veterinary College shot video of nine horses cantering in a straight line over grass. The horses were first ridden with standard-type studs in both their front and rear shoes before the studs were removed and the horses were galloped again over the same grass surface.
An analysis of the videos indicated studs reduced the distance between slips in all four feet, but significantly more in the hind feet. “We suspect this is because the fore and hind feet have relatively different roles in locomotion,” says researcher Sarah Williams. “Without studs, the hind feet generally slide more than the front feet, which may be due to the fact that the hind limbs propel the body forward or because they support less weight than the front limbs at a gallop.”
Results from surveys filled out by attendees at the 2013 International Hoof-Care Summit show 58% of farriers increased their footcare incomes in 2012 compared to the previous year. The average increase in income for these farriers was 23% higher than during 2011. Some 34% of farriers indicated their income remained the same for both years, while the remaining 8% of farriers reported a 13% decrease in income in 2012 compared to the previous year.…