Hoof accelerations at hoof-surface impact for stride types and functional limb types relevant to show jumping horses

Elin Hernlund, Agneta Egenvall, Michael L. Peterson, Christie A. Mahaffey, Lars Roepstorff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Increased knowledge of the influence of stride type on hoof impact accelerations for fore and hind limbs could lead to a more complete picture of hoof-ground interactions in equine athletes. Hoof accelerations were quantified for each hoof of five show jumping horses using two orthogonal single axis ±. 250. g accelerometers. Accelerations were recorded when cantering horses jumped fences of varying types (upright and oxer) and heights (90-130. cm) on three different surface conditions. Strides were identified as normal canter strides, take-off strides and landing strides. Descriptive hoof impact parameters were maximal vertical deceleration (MaZ), range of maximum fore-aft acceleration and deceleration (RaX), quotient of acceleration vectors (arctangent for RaX/MaZ) and hoof breaking duration (time from MaZ to first level of <0.042. g absolute fore-aft acceleration). The highest hoof impact accelerations occurred during the take-off stride (mean MaZ over limbs 52.6-91.6. g vs. all-stride mean 39.8. g; mean RaX 63.9-80.5. g vs. all-stride mean 50.7. g). At the jump landing, the forelimbs also experienced high MaZ (46.8 and 49.0. g) of the same order of magnitude as the forelimbs at the take-off. Non-lead limbs had higher MaZ in the normal canter stride, comparing within forelimb and hind limb pairs, and the reverse relationship occurred for RaX and for the quotient of acceleration vectors. The systematic variation introduced by limb and stride type suggests that these gait parameters are important to understand in a sport-specific context for horse surfaces, especially in the development of standardised testing equipment that simulates horse-surface interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e27-e32
JournalVeterinary Journal
Issue numberSUPPL1
StatePublished - Dec 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding was provided by the Fédération Equestre International and the Swedish–Norwegian Institute for Equine Research. The authors would like to express their gratitude to riders and horses at the Swedish National Equestrian Centre Strömsholm for participating in the study, to Elin Björklund and Carolina Skjödt for technical assistance and to Marie Rhodin for technical expertise.


  • Acceleration
  • Equine
  • Hoof impact
  • Jump
  • Surface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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