How Hoof Anatomy Affects Biomechanics in Sport Horses

Anecdotally, we know that hoof anatomy influences horse soundness and movement, but researchers are working to put science behind that relationship. Here’s what they’ve learned so far.
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horse hoof anatomy
Anecdotally, we know that hoof anatomy influences horse soundness and movement, but researchers are working to put science behind that relationship. | Photo: Stephanie L. Church/The Horse
Anecdotally veterinarians and farriers know hoof anatomy influences horse soundness and movement.

“Variations in hoof anatomy may alter stress distribution, this predisposing horses to pathologies and lameness,” said Babak Faramarzi, DVM, CVA, MSc, PhD, an associate professor at the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine, in Pomona, California.

However, studies exploring the relationship between hoof conformation, biomechanics, and potential injuries are limited.

So Faramarzi and colleagues conducted a study on the topic, and he shared the results at the 2018 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in San Francisco,

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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