Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Changes in shape of the Standardbred distal phalanx and hoof capsule in response to exercise

  • CD Cruz (a1), JJ Thomason (a1), B Faramarzi (a1), WW Bignell (a1), W Sears (a2), H Dobson (a3) and NB Konyer (a4)...

The aims of this study were to determine whether the equine distal phalanx changes in shape in response to exercise and to relate any osseous changes to those in the hoof capsule. Eighteen mature Standardbred horses were randomly divided into exercise and control groups. Exercised horses were jogged on a straight track at individual mean speeds between 4 and 8 m s− 1 for 10–45 min, 4 days per week for 16 weeks. Both groups were similarly shod and pastured on the same field. Before and after the training period, each horse had digital photographs and magnetic resonance images (MRI) made of the right forehoof. Five linear measurements of the distal phalanx were recorded from the MRI and 24 measurements of the hoof capsule were made on the digital photographs. Small but significant changes in bone width (P = 0.039) were found in the controls and in two sagittal measurements of bone length (P = 0.039, 0.001, respectively) for the exercise group. These changes were slight and did not correlate with changes in shape of the hoof capsule, suggesting that the bone acts as a stable platform for supporting the capsule and withstanding loads.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

4JJ Thomason , WW Bignell and W Sears (2001). Components of variation of surface hoof strain with time. Equine Veterinary Journal Supplement 33: 6366.

5JJ Thomason , WW Bignell , D Batiste and W Sears (2004). Effects of hoof shape, body mass and velocity on surface strain in the wall of the unshod forehoof of Standardbreds trotting on a treadmill. Equine and Comparative Exercise Physiology 1: 8797.

6RF Redden (2003). Hoof capsule distortion: Understanding the mechanisms as a basis for rational management. Veterinary Clinics of North America Equine Practice 19: 443462.

9RN McCarthy and LB Jeffcott (1992). Effects of treadmill exercise on cortical bone in the third metacarpus of young horses. Research in Veterinary Science 52: 2837.

10CB O'Sullivan , AJ Dart , N Malikides , RJ Rawlinson , DR Hutchins and DR Hodgson (1999). Nonsurgical management of type II fractures of the distal phalanx in 48 Standardbred horses. Australian Veterinary Journal 77: 501503.

13VT Redano and B Grant (1978). The equine third phalanx: Its radiographic appearance. Veterinary Radiology 19: 125135.

14AA Biewener , J Thomason , A Goodship and LE Lanyon (1983). Bone stress in the horse forelimb during locomotion at different gaits: A comparison of two experimental methods. Journal of Biomechanics 16 (8): 565576.

15HM Davies (2001). Relationships between third metacarpal bone parameters and surface strains. Equine Veterinary Journal Supplement 33: 1620.

21JE Douglas and JJ Thomason (2000). Shape, orientation and spacing of the primary epidermal laminae in the hooves of neonatal and adult horses (Equus caballus). Cells Tissues Organs 166: 304318.

22JJ Thomason , JE Douglas and W Sears (2001). Morphology of the laminar junction in relation to the shape of the hoof capsule and distal phalanx in adult horses (Equus caballus). Cells Tissues Organs 168: 295311.

23RC Murray , SJ Dyson , MC Schramme , M Branch and S Woods (2003). Magnetic resonance imaging of the equine digit with chronic laminitis. Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound 44: 609617.

24J Denoix , N Crevier , B Roger and J Lebas (1993). Magnetic resonance imaging of the equine foot. Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound 34: 405411.

26M Kleiter , S Kneissl , C Stanek , E Mayrhofer , U Baulain and E Deegen (1999). Evaluation of magnetic resonance imaging techniques in the equine digit. Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound 40: 1522.

27JR Landis and GG Koch (1977). The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics 33: 159174.

28PD van Harreveld , JD Lillich , CE Kawcak , EM Gaughan , RM McLaughlin and RM DeBowes (2002). Clinical evaluation of the effects of immobilization followed by remobilization and exercise on the metacarpophalangeal joint in horses. American Journal of Veterinary Research 63: 282288.

30BD Nielsen , CI O'Connor , DS Rosenstein , HC Schott and HM Clayton (2002). Influence of trotting and supplemental weight on metacarpal bone development. Equine Veterinary Journal Supplement 34: 236240.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Equine and Comparative Exercise Physiology
  • ISSN: 1478-0615
  • EISSN: 1479-070X
  • URL: /core/journals/equine-and-comparative-exercise-physiology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *