Velocity-dependent changes of time, force and spatial parameters in Warmblood horses walking and trotting on a treadmill
Article first published online: 8 NOV 2010
© 2010 EVJ Ltd
Equine Veterinary Journal
Special Issue: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology
Volume 42, Issue Supplement s38, pages 530–537, November 2010
How to Cite
WEISHAUPT, M. A., HOGG, H. P., AUER, J. A. and WIESTNER, T. (2010), Velocity-dependent changes of time, force and spatial parameters in Warmblood horses walking and trotting on a treadmill. Equine Veterinary Journal, 42: 530–537. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.2010.00190.x
- Issue published online: 8 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 8 NOV 2010
- [Paper received for publication 11.01.10; Accepted 11.06.10]
- force-measuring treadmill;
- interlimb coordination;
- intralimb coordination;
Reasons for performing study: Gait analysis parameters are sensitive to alterations in velocity. For comparison of nonspeed-matched data, the velocity dependency needs to be known.
Objectives: To describe the changes in gait pattern and determine the relationships between stride duration, vertical impulse, contact time and peak vertical force within a range of walking and trotting speeds.
Methods: Thirty-eight nonlame Warmblood horses were subjected to an incremental speed test. The spans of speed were adjusted individually to each horse and ranged from 1.1–2.1 m/s at walk and from 2.5–5.8 m/s at trot. Time, force and spatial parameters of each limb were measured with an instrumented treadmill and analysed with regression analysis using velocity as the independent variable.
Results: At a slow walk the shape of the force curve was generally single-peaked in the fore- and trapezoidal in the hindlimbs. With increasing speed, the curves turned into the typical double-peaked shape with a higher second peak in the fore- and a higher first peak in the hindlimbs. With increasing velocity, stride duration, stance durations and limb impulses of the fore- and hindlimbs decreased in both gaits (r2>0.92). Increasing speed caused a weight shift to the forehand (walk: from 56 to 59%; trot: from 55 to 57%). Despite decreasing limb impulses, peak vertical forces increased in both gaits (r2>0.83). The suspension duration of the trot increased with faster velocities and reached a plateau of around 90 ms at the highest speeds. At a slow trot, the forelimbs impacted first and followed the hindlimbs at lift-off; with increasing speed, the horses tended to impact earlier with the hindlimbs. Contralateral symmetry indices of all parameters remained unchanged.
Conclusions: Subject velocity affects time, force and spatial parameters. Knowing the mathematical function of these interdependencies enables correction of nonspeed-matched data.