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DISTAL LIMB. Terms include: ground reaction force vector (GRF), superficial flexor tendon (SDFT), deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT), distal check ligament (DCL) and suspensory ligament (SL).
When dealing with excessive stress on the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT), H.H. Florian Buchner has found that farriers can sharply reduce the amount of tendon force and navicular compression by applying heel wedges to horses with these concerns.
The biomechanics researcher at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna in Vienna, Austria, reached this conclusion with the use of the inverse dynamic analysis approach to evaluating distal limb and joint and tendon loading during the stance phase of movement. In this study, Buchner evaluated the specific characteristics of lame horses suffering from navicular disease or tendonitis and looked at the impact of orthopedic shoeing on internal forces of the hoof.
The inverse dynamic analysis technique is based on evaluating kinetic data from the position of various limb segments measured with a camera, the external forces between hoof and ground measured with a force plate and internal geometric data measured from radiographs or inertial properties of the distal limb.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association of Equine Practitioners in early December in Seattle, Wash., Buchner…