Claireb - photos of hooves to critique

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by Shenalar, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    Oh come on Anna E don't be do hard on yourself you have plenty of imagination!
  2. odway

    odway Guest

    Absolutely! Totally agree RR, science is rarely conclusive and as has been stated before, the hoof strike will be confounded by factors such as the trim and leg comformation- so of course it is near impossible to determine what is true given the implicit level of individual variation. What I was trying to say is that at the moment, it appears as though "heel-first" is fairly commonly cited in scientific literature. I haven't done a meta-analysis or anything fancy like that (nor would I- I've got better things to do with my time ;)) I just searched the terms equine and hoof-strike and looked at what came up when sorted by rank. Those three papers were the first three relevant papers that came up, and each happened to refute a flat-landing hoof strike. Similarly the papers following it also seemed to suggest heel-first, although I did no more than skim these. Now that's not to say there aren't any papers that have shown horses land flat-hooved (in fact, I've read a couple that say just that!), it's just that in my quick and dirty search "heel-first" seemed most common.

    To those that have PMed, I'll send them through when I'm back at uni on Monday :)
  3. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    Actually none of the literature you quoted refuted was a case study of one horse (they presented the findings from their experiment of observations of what appears one horse), the other paper looked at 18 horses and was specifically conducted to TEST the testing equipment and it found variations in foot falls and looked at the effect of trimming and the other a quote from a book based on an individual authors stance ;)

    Actually reference #2 really shows that reference #1 is flawed due to highlighting variations and obviously reference #3 had not read reference #2!


    Reference #1 indeed only ONE horse! Only information was that it was 640kg and was sound, nothing about its conformation, how its hoof was balanced etc.....most importantly it was also wearing a 2.3kg "instrumented shoe" on its left fore with other limbs shod with dummy shoes of the same weight....hmmm wonder how well balanced those shoes were :p
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  4. odway

    odway Guest

    Well RR, obviously none of these papers (bar the first, which is now outdated) were set out with the aim to explicitely document the biomechanics of a horse's hoof-strike. I suggest that the other references happen to refute the flat-landing hoof strike because their results, observations or comments supported the idea that a horse lands heel-first. We've just established that it's near impossible to define the hoof strike of a horse without an extraordinarily large sample size, and even then we would find some horses would land toe-first - there is no right or wrong or single answer here. I was just trying to demonstrate that "heel-first" appears to be more commonly accepted in "everyday" scientific literature on the subject of horse biomechanics.

    You can pull the methodology apart all you like. Even if there was a new study that took into account trim, conformation, individual gait variation and a horde of other variables, we'll would still find flaws in their methodology (simply studying a living horse in an artificial environment could influence the results) - that's just the nature of science. Just because a study is testing something other than "does the heel come first when a horse lands, or do they land flat footed?" does not mean that the observations made during that study are null and void - they just need to be interpreted with caution. Having said that, you'll find my quote from Reference #2 is actually from their discussion (not as a result of their own study) and you'd need to chase up the papers they reference to find out how those authors came to the conclusion that horses land heel-first. Also, you'll find that Ref #3 (not a book ;)) is only one, in what appears to be a quite a few, hoof-related papers that measure "breakover" as a variable.

    I could give you more references and you could also pull those apart, and we could play this game forever, but like I said, all I'm trying to say is that it appears as though "heel-first" is currently more widely cited in the scientific literature.
  5. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    Yes but it would have more reliabilty and validity the hallmarks of good science :)

    It is not more widely accepted at all..... all that is accepted is that it varies with conformation and hoof balance not to mention soundness issues can affect study results!

    Breakover hey....that is how the hoof leaves the ground...not strikes the ground and that is just another thing that is affected by hoof balance and this is not some kind of new might want to tell me why you have highlighted this concept in a hoof strike debate?
  6. Nannoo

    Nannoo Well-known Member

    Retroremedy - LOVE YOUR POSTS - Just one question - your Signature - "Your intelligence is measured by those around you; if you spend your days with idiots you seal your own fate." - unknown"

  7. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    LOL Nanno, there is lots of intelligence on Stockies and lots of good fun discussions....that is why I am here *#)
  8. Wendy

    Wendy Well-known Member

    Even if you end up debating with yourself (being the last man standing) as all the others have politely withdrawn.:D

  9. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Wendy what you have posted was very cleverly and politely said. You are a very diplomatic person.
  10. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    The day that actually happens on a horse discussion forum will be the day the internet goes down for good *#)
  11. odway

    odway Guest

    RR, breakover is influenced by how the hoof lands; when breakover is measured as a variable hoof strike is also often recorded, usually as heel-first. I'm not going to reference that statement, because so far you haven't offered to back up anything that you've bought to the table- at least I've tried to present something more than personal opinion. Questioning the meaning of "widely excepted in scientific literature" doesn't bring much to this debate - at least you could try to provide us with something more concrete than:

    S Pilliner, S Elmhurst, Z Davies 1997. The Horses in Motion: The Anatomy and Physiology of Equine Locomotion. Wiley and Sons. pp 27.: "The hoof should land level and slightly heel first". -> book written by well qualified authors, by peer-reviewed publishing group, giving a blueprint for the "ideal" horse. Good book, you should read it sometime **)

    (didn't have to search that hard ';')

    And now I will graciously leave this debate, because I have better things to do with my time, like write my own papers ;)
  12. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    See the internet has not yet been turned off ;)

    Sorry Odway this sentence makes absolutely no sense :confused: ....breakover is the point at which the hoof rolls on to the toe as it leaves the ground when the horse is in motion. So explain (or give your reference) for how when it is measured as a variable the hoof strike ends up heel I have explained every horse breaks over, well if it is alive and moves? What is the variable? :confused:

    Interest in breakover usually lies in where the pivot point is and the speed...and like hoof landing (I don't like strike, it is usually called landing in any references to flight pattern in horse movement) is affected by hoof balance. So if you really want a "variable" that absolutely DOES affect landing/strike/breakover, hoof balance is it :))

    OK, then I will take your reference #2 bit more recent than your 1997 reference ;) (van Heel et al, 2004):
    "The normal landing of a sound horse trotting in a straight line, observed with the human eye, should therefore be flat. If a lateral, medial or toe landing can be seen, this is abnormal and suggests that the horse is poorly balanced or has other problems"

    Or how about this one, from the same year 1997, King & Mansmann, 1997 (my edition 2005) (Lameness - Recognizing and treating the horse's most common aliment):
    "When a horse walks on a firm, level surface, it should place the foot squarely on the ground at each step. The outside and inside of the foot, and the toe and the heel should land at the same time. However, many horses do not land normally. The most common abnormality is landing on the outside of the foot. That is, the outside of the foot is placed slightly before the inside and the horse rolls the foot flat from outside to inside. This abnormality, which is generally due to poor conformation..."

    So there you go Odway for the everyday farrier, vet, trimmer or horse owner a horse should land flat but there will be variables such as hoof balance, conformation and soundness....but the aim should be to witness a flat foot fall ;)

    No, but you did use reference, as evidence for your claim of literature that "widely accepted heel first", when the results of this study of 18 warmblood horses found that lateral asymmetrical landing was the preferred way of landing in the front feet and hind feet of the study group"...and that thread followers means that the study found the that the horses in the study were landing on one side of their hooves, hmmmm
  13. Double Helix

    Double Helix Well-known Member

    Where is the scientific "evidence" in these studies that the horse's foot should land flat? They make a statement that this is how it should be and then go on to show that this is not what the study actually found... Anyone can come up with a hypothesis (i.e. When a horse walks on a firm, level surface, it should place the foot squarely on the ground at each step. The outside and inside of the foot, and the toe and the heel should land at the same time) but proving it is another matter. In fact if enough papers found that the horses didn't land flat then I would suggest the hypothesis has been disproved, but yes as already discussed there are so many variables and not enough sample sizes to probably ever prove or disprove this hypothesis. So where are the papers that actually looked at horses with well balanced feet and statistically found that they landed flat?

    And as with any scientific field what is considered right changes all the time, so even a study 5 years old may now be outdated and the field of expertise may now be looking at an alternative hypothesis, i.e. a slightly heel first landing :)*
  14. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    It is truly heaven when I am in a situation with a discussion not only looking at hoof balance but epistemology and the theory of knowledge....but alas the latter will only entertain the die hard nerds so I will stick to the questions.....

    This study used a pressure/force measuring system that the horses trotted OVER to examine the hoof landing of the horses in the study....the equipment produced scans of the various contact and pressure over time, it was very high tech and defined initial landing as the first loaded frame on the scanning software. The researchers took this evidence and where able to calculate the time frame of when the hoof initially made contact with the ground to when the hoof loaded...from this they calculated a time. They then compare this to the known ability of the human eye to discriminate between events and noted that the speed between the moment of landing and the initial phase of hoof loading were faster than the ability of the human eye to discriminate...and hence beyond the capability of the human eye to see as it was so quick....hence if you CAN see the variation it indicates it is exaggerated and hence indicates a problem.

    I asked the same question but in regards to your first statement...well they haven't managed it yet :p Even the most hardcore barefoot propaganda website don't particularly mind the flat landing possibility, they just get a bit antsy about toe first...which is fair enough! I guess also you have to question the "significance" of the issue and overwhelming necessity to examine it.

    Well it hasn't yet and it is has been a bit longer than 5 years....:D

    I think you better write to the barefoot only propaganda sites and inform them about the idea of scientific study and scientific evidence as they are pretty much devoid of the concept...but then they would just respond to you that it was unnecessary as horse shoes are evil and barefoot is natural *#)

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