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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2006

The effect of weighted boots on the movement of the back in the asymptomatic riding horse

Wennerstrand, J; Johnston, C; Rhodin, M; Roethlisberger-Holm, K; Drevemo, S

Abstract

Back dysfunction is an important reason for impaired performance in sport horses. Limb movements influence the movements of the back and factors affecting the limbs may therefore affect the movement of the back. The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of weighted boots on the fore- and hind limbs on the movement of the back. The back kinematics of eight horses was studied at the walk and trot on a treadmill. The ranges of movement (ROM) of the back were compared intra-individually, using Wilcoxon matched pairs test, when the horses moved with and without weighted boots on the fore- and hind limbs, respectively. Differences were considered significant at P<0.05. Weighted boots on the hind limbs increased the ROM for dorsoventral flexion and extension in the lumbar back at the walk and decreased the ROM for lateral bending at the thoracolumbar junction at the trot. Weighted boots on the forelimbs decreased the ROM for lateral bending at the withers at the trot. Knowledge of the effect of weighted boots on the back movement is useful in training and rehabilitation of sport horses. Weighted boots on the hind limbs at the walk may induce strengthening of the flexors of the lumbar back and increase the flexion-extension of the lumbar back under controlled conditions

Published in

Equine and Comparative Exercise Physiology
2006, Volume: 3, number: 1, pages: 13-18
Publisher: CABI Publishing