The effect of a rolled toe shoe during breakover phase
Overload injuries are a common reason for lameness in sport horses. During stance phase the horse has more risk to injuries at three moments. First during the impact phase, secondly, during the submaximal limb loading and third, during the process of breakover when the heel leaves the ground and the hoof rotates around the toe. The process of breakover can be influenced by shoeing. With a rolled toe shoe, the horse unrolled its foot more gradually and with lower peak forces.
This study is testing if there is a significant difference in hoof-unrollment patterns between a standard toe and a roller toe. Twenty sound warmblood horses were trimmed towards a straight hoofpatern axis and all 4 feet were shod. They were shod two times, with either a shoe with one toe-clip or a rolled toe equi-librium shoe the first time, and the second time with the other shoe. The horses were trotted by hand over a concrete track which included a pressure- and forcemeasuring plate.
Horses with the rolled toe shoe moved easier during the breakover phase. With a rolled toe, the horse unrolled his foot more gradually, which gave the horse a better possibility for a correct coordination. The change in the hoof-unrollment pattern also led to a lower peak force, indicating a less abrupt and less heavy loading on the internal structures of the hoof. This could help to decrease the chance of overload injuries.
Expert opinion by Annet Veen
The effects of specific shoes are not fully studied at this moment. It is important to know how a specific shoe can influence the movement of the horse. This information can help prevent injuries or help the horse with an existing injury and when we should use which shoe for which horse. This study gives a good insight in how small changes in a shoe can already influence the movement of the horse.
> From: van Heel et al., Equine Veterinary journal 38 (3) (2006) 258-262. All rights reserved to 2006 EVJ Ltd. Click here for the online summary.