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Research article2001Peer reviewedOpen access

Joint moments in the distal forelimbs of jumping horses during landing

Meershoek, L. S.; Roepstorff, Lars; Schamhardt, Henk; Johnston, Christopher; Bobbert, M. F.


Tendon injuries are an important problem in athletic horses and are probably caused by excessive loading of the tendons during demanding activities. As a first step towards understanding these injuries, the tendon loading was quantified during jump landings. Kinematics and ground reaction forces were collected from the leading and trailing forelimbs of 6 experienced jumping horses. Joint moments were calculated using inverse dynamic analysis. It was found that the variation of movement and loading patterns was small, both within and between horses. The peak flexor joint moments in the coffin and fetlock joints were larger in the trailing limb (-0.62 and -2.44 Nm/kg bwt, respectively) than in the leading limb (-0.44 and -1.93 Nm/kg bwt, respectively) and exceeded literature values for trot by 82 and 35%. Additionally, there was an extensor coffin joint moment in the first half of the stance phase of the Leading limb (peak value 0.26 +/- 0.18 Nm/kg bwt), From these results, it was concluded that the loading of the flexor tendons during landing was higher in the trailing than in the leading limb and that there was an unexpected loading of the extensor tendon in the leading limb.


horse; equine biomechanics; inverse dynamic analysis; tendon loading

Published in

Equine Veterinary Journal
2001, Volume: 33, number: 4, pages: 410-415

      SLU Authors

    • Roepstorff, Lars

      • Department of Equine Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Johnston, Christopher

        • Department of Anatomy and Histology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Other Veterinary Science

      Publication identifier


      Permanent link to this page (URI)