A technique for assessing hoof function in the horse


  • Dr C. M. COLLES

    1. Clinical Unit, Animal Health Trust, Balaton Lodge, Snailwell Road, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7DW
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    • Avonvale Veterinary Group. Ratley Lodge, Ratley, Banbury, Oxfordshire

  • Acknowledgements. I would like to acknowledge the technical assistance of Mrs H. Highton and Mr R. Ware with this work. Miss J. Butler helped prepare the figures, and Mrs C. Ibrahim typed the manuscript. The work was partly funded by The Worshipful Company of Farriers whose contribution is gratefully acknowledged.


This paper describes the application of foil strain gauges to the hoof wall, and the use of measuring equipment to monitor weightbearing and changes in hoof shape in shod and unshod horses. It concludes that the systems can detect hoof movement and that results are reproducible. It is also concluded that the use of a conventional nailed on iron shoe restricts flexion and spreading of the hoof wall at the ground surface, but has little effect on the degree of expansion of the heels of the foot.