Variation in frontal plane joint angles in horses
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 444–450, November 2010
How to Cite
UNT, V. E., EVANS, J., REED, S. R., PFAU, T. and WELLER, R. (2010), Variation in frontal plane joint angles in horses. Equine Veterinary Journal, 42: 444–450. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.2010.00192.x
- Issue published online: 8 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 8 NOV 2010
- [Paper received for publication 10.01.10; Accepted 28.05.10]
- angular limb deformity;
- motion analysis
Reasons for performing study: Conformation in horses is often considered an indicator of athletic ability, performance and resistance to orthopaedic disease. Evaluation is performed in the standing horse and repeatability influenced by stance. Ground reaction forces increase in the moving horse as speed increases.
Objectives: To determine the effect of locomotion on equine carpus, tarsus, metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints in the frontal plane.
Hypothesis: Valgus/varus angulation will change when moving.
Materials and methods: Kinematic data were collected standing, walking and trotting for 2 groups of horses. The change in angle for carpus, tarsus, MCP and MTP joints was calculated standing and midstance for each stride. Comparison of joint angles between left and right limbs, standing, walking and trotting were made. Inter- and intrahorse variations were investigated.
Results: Significant differences were observed between groups of horses and left and right forelimbs. Between walk and trot, the MCP joint changed from valgus to varus, and the tarsus and MTP joints increased in valgus deformity. Between standing and walk the carpus increased in valgus deformity. Interhorse variation was significantly different, intrahorse variation was not. Variation in measurements between gaits was minimal.
Conclusions: This study validates the measurement of joint angles from the front in the walking and trotting horse using kinematic data, interhorse variation in joint angle measurements exceeding intrahorse variation. The increases in joint angles between standing and walking, and walking and trotting warrant further investigation.