Study: Horses Find ‘Comfort’ After Trimming and Reshoeing

Researchers observed horses taking more steps and spending more time in a relaxed position after their hoof care appointments.
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Study: Horses Find ‘Comfort’ After Trimming and Reshoeing
Researchers recently observed that in the week following trimming and reshoeing, horses tend to take more steps than before the trim, and they spend more time in a relaxed position. | Photo: Photos.com
Does your horse enjoy a good foot trim? According to a new study, he just might. Researchers recently observed that in the week following trimming and reshoeing, horses tend to take more steps than before the trim, and they spend more time in a relaxed position.

“I think it’s akin to the feeling you get after you trim your fingernails and toenails,” said Jay A. Daniel, PhD, professor of animal science at Berry College, in Mount Berry, Georgia. “They just feel a bit better.”

In the study, led by Daniel’s undergraduate student Rosemary Groux, scientists fitted seven riding horses with accelerometers on one hind limb, which the horses wore 23 hours a day for more than two weeks. All seven geldings—Quarter Horses, a Thoroughbred, and a Warmblood—lived in pastured groups of about 12 horses on the Berry College campus.

Halfway through the study period, three of the horses underwent trimming and reshoeing, in line with their regular six-week farriery schedule, Daniel said. The other four received all the handling associated with trimming and reshoeing by the same farrier but, as the control group, did not actually get their feet trimmed or reshod

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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