Can Polyurethane-Covered Shoes Bring Relief To Working Horses?

by | 12.14.2019 | 4:47pm

Researchers from Austria have found that steel horseshoes with a soft polyurethane covering that contacts the ground may help reduce overload of horse's front legs.

Drs. Lauren Veneta Moore, Theresia Franziska Licka and Rebeka Roza Zsoldos used four carriage-driving horses for the study. The horses, in teams of two, pulled carriages in Vienna, a city that has a variety of road surfaces, including cobbled streets, concrete and asphalt. Traditionally, the horses wear steel shoes with anti-slip features, like studs, pins or toe grabs, to keep them from slipping.

The study used the horses as they were traditionally shod, then removed those shoes and nailed on a steel shoe and screwed on the polyurethane segments. Accelerometers were attached to the hooves and the horses were trotted in hand on an asphalt track at a self-selected pace.

The scientists found that hooves wearing the polyurethane-covered shoes experienced less-abrupt deceleration during lading and more acceleration upon push-off from the ground. Additionally, the horses trotted faster and used longer strides when wearing the polyurethane-covered shoes.

The researchers determined that the polyurethane-covered shoes may aide in reducing front-limb overload in horses.

Read the study here.

Read more at HorseTalk.

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