Elastic extension of leg tendons in the locomotion of horses (Equus caballus)


**Address for correspondence


Several of the distal leg muscles of horses have such extremely short muscle fibres that their changes of length in locomotion must be due almost entirely to elastic extension of their tendons. Films of a horse have been analysed to determine these extensions, using data obtained by experiments on dissected legs. The tendons investigated experience peak strains of 3–6% in walking, 3–7% in trotting and 4–9% in galloping. These strains occur while the foot is on the ground.