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Conference paper, 2014

Kick loads from horses : Measurement of kick loads from horses on stable fittings and building elements

Ventorp, Michael; von Wachenfelt, Hans;


Fittings and fixtures in horse stables may cause injuries to horses when trapped and there is a great risk of an accident to animal and handler when releasing a horse. The risk of injuries to horses and handlers must be minimised by correct structural design and appropriate choice of building material. The physical load of horse kicks were measured in order to obtain data for the design of safe horse fittings and fixtures. To record the forces exerted by horse kicks a measuring wall and a computerised measuring system were constructed and used in single horse boxes. For reference, the characteristics of the measuring system were determined by a drop hammer test. Through regression analysis a linear relation was found between the field recorded impact values from horse kicks obtained by the measuring system and drop hammer impact values. The drop hammer method can thus be used to test fittings. Impacts recorded in the field tests were rapid, often shorter than 0.03 s and 90% had a maximum value below 1924 N. The greatest impact force and impulse caused by a horse kick were 8722 N and 131 N s respectively, with no statistical difference between provoked and unprovoked kicks. Considering the data obtained and allowing a certain safety margin, the impact resistance of horse fixtures and fittings in single horse boxes, to be used for horses of up to 700 kg mass, should be at least equivalent to 150 Ns exerted by a horse shoe at 45°.


horse kick, physical load, fitting, fixture, equine safety

Published in

Book title: Proceedings of equi-meeting, infrastructures, October 6th and 7th 2014 in Haras national du Lion d'Angers, France
Publisher: Institut Francais du Cheval et de l'equitation; Le Pin au Haras; France


Equi-meeting Infrastructures, Horas national du Lion d'Angers, France, 6-7 October 2014

Authors' information

Ventorp, Michael
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology
von Wachenfelt, Hans
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Biosystem och teknologi, Box 103

Associated SLU-program

Built environment

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

URI (permanent link to this page)