The Basics of Breakover

What exactly is breakover? Most would answer that it is the horse’s heel lifting off the ground and rotating over the toe as his foot leaves the ground. Breakover is simple in its definition, but pretty complex in its implications for your horse’s movement and soundness. And there’s not a lot of research out there yet to clearly define the best breakover for any horse.

In the meantime,

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What exactly is breakover? Most would answer that it is the horse’s heel lifting off the ground and rotating over the toe as his foot leaves the ground. Breakover is simple in its definition, but pretty complex in its implications for your horse’s movement and soundness. And there’s not a lot of research out there yet to clearly define the best breakover for any horse.

In the meantime, while we wait for researchers to clarify the complicated interactions between hoof angle, hoof length, breakover point, shoe type, and the forces on the numerous joints and soft tissues in a horse’s legs, we can look at what is currently known about breakover and how it can be managed to maximize your horse’s soundness and performance.

Defining Breakover

Let’s begin with the idea that breakover, however short, is a process rather than just an instant in time

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Written by:

Christy West has a BS in Equine Science from the University of Kentucky, and an MS in Agricultural Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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