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Since little research has been done on the impact of softer ground footing, researchers at the National Veterinary School of Alfort in France fitted special shoes with accelerometers to the right front feet of four trotting racehorses. When these horses were trotted over deep, wet sand, they experienced 60% less vertical deceleration and had a 26% reduction in their vertical limb-loading rate when compared with being worked in firm wet sand. Vertical deceleration was 95% lower when the horses were trotted over deep, dry sand compared to being worked on an asphalt surface. The researchers found that the softer surfaces significantly altered the dynamics of the stride since the horses took shorter and more frequent strides.
With horses suffering from dropped soles, Donald Walsh recommends leaving the hoof sidewalls a little longer to help protect the dropped sole from excess concussion. The equine veterinarian from Pacific, Mo., told attendees at the recent International Equine Lameness Prevention Conference that wider growth rings at the heel than at the toe indicate the heel is growing faster than the toe. As a result, more heel than toe should be trimmed off.
A recently completed European research study indicates 89% of horses with laminitis were also suffering from Cushing’s syndrome. Researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland examined 36 laminitic horses admitted to the veterinary clinic over a 16-month period. Among…