BORIS Theses

BORIS Theses
Bern Open Repository and Information System

Kinetics and kinematics of the tölt: effects of rider interaction and shoeing manipulations

Waldern, Nina M. (2014). Kinetics and kinematics of the tölt: effects of rider interaction and shoeing manipulations. (Thesis). Universität Bern, Bern

14waldern_n.pdf - Thesis
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works (CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0).

Download (1MB) | Preview


Introduction . Compared to most equine horse breeds which are able to walk, trot and canter /gallop, the gait repertoire of the Icelandic horses additionally includes the lateral gait tölt and frequently also the pace. With respect to the tölt gait, special shoeing, saddling and riding techniques have been developed for Icelandic horses in order to enhance its expressiveness and regularity. Toes are left unnaturally long and heavy shoes and paddings, as well as weighted boots are used to enforce the individual gait predisposition. For the same reason, the rider is placed more caudally to the horse's centre of mass as compared to other riding techniques. The biomechanical impact of these methods on the health of the locomotor system has so far never been subject of systematic research. Objectives . The aims of the presented study are (1) to describe the kinetic and kinematic characteristics of the tölt performed on a treadmill, (2) to understand the mechanical consequences of shoeing manipulation (long hooves, weighted boots) on the loading and protraction movement of the limbs, as well as (3) to study the pressure distribution and effects on the gait pattern of 3 different saddle types used for riding Icelandic horses. Materials and methods . Gait analysis was carried out in 13 Icelandic horses at walk and at slow and medium tölting and trotting speeds on a high-speed treadmill instrumented for measuring vertical ground reaction forces as well as temporal and spatial gait variables. Kinematic data of horse, rider and saddle were measured simultaneously. Gait analysis was first carried out with high, long hooves (SH) without and in combination with weighted boots (ad aim (2)). Afterwards, horses were re-shod according to current horseshoeing standards (SN) and gait analysis was repeated (ad aims (1) and (2)). In a second trial, horses were additionally equipped with a pressure sensitive saddle mat and were ridden with a dressage-like saddle (SDres), an Icelandic saddle (Slcel) and a saddle cushion (SCush) in the standard saddle position (ad aim 3). Results and conclusions . Compared to trot at the same speed, tölting horses had a higher stride rate and lower stride impulses. At the tölt loading of the forelimbs was increased in form of higher peak vertical forces (Fzpeak) due to shorter relative stance durations (StDrel). Conversely, in the hindlimbs, longer StDrel resulted in lower Fzpeak. Despite the higher head-neck position at tölt, there was no measurable shift in weight to the hindlimbs. Footfall rhythm was in most horses laterally coupled at the tölt and frequently had a slight fourbeat and a very short suspension phase at trot; underlining the fact that performance of correct gaits in Icelandic horses needs special training. Gait performance as it is currently judged in competition could be improved using a shoeing with SH, resulting in a 21 ± 5 mm longer dorsal hoof wall, but also a weight gain of 273 ± 50 g at the distal limb due to heavier shoeing material. Compared to SN, SH led to a lower stride rate, a longer stride length and a higher, but not wider, forelimb protraction arc, which were also positively associated with speed. At the tölt, the footfall rhythm showed less tendency to lateral couplets and at the trot, the suspension phase was longer. However, on the long term, SH may have negative implications for the health of the palmar structures of the distal foot by increased limb impulses, higher torques at breakover (up to 20%); as well as peak vertical forces at faster speeds. Compared to the shoeing style, the saddle type had less influence on limb forces or movements. The slight weight shift to the rear with SCush and Slcel may be explained by the more caudal position of the rider relative to the horse's back. With SCush, pressure was highest under the cranial part of the saddle, whereas the saddles with trees had more pressure under the caudal area.

Item Type: Thesis
Dissertation Type: Single
Date of Defense: 2014
Additional Information: e-Dissertation (edbe)
Subjects: 500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
Depositing User: Admin importFromBoris
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2019 12:59
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2020 09:43

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item