This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Effect of Two Bandage Protocols on Equine Fetlock Kinematics


The purpose of this study was to assess the kinematic effects of the Sports Medicine Boot II® and the Twenty X™ Polo Wrap in the forelimbs of horses while trotting. This study provides valuable kinematic data for use in future studies of equine locomotion kinematics and possible extensions of this study. The hypothesis of the study was that applying the Twenty X™ Polo Wrap or the Sports Medicine Boot II® to the forelimb of a horse would result in reduced peak fetlock extension compared to a non-treated limb. Kinematic data was collected from eight horses in this study, 2 Thoroughbreds, 5 Quarter Horses and 1 draft horse cross. The horses had a mean weight of 565.1 + 57.3 kg, age of 10.0 + 3.2 years and height of 1.6 + 0.06 m at the withers. Hemispherical retro-reflective joint markers were placed on the lateral aspect of the elbow, carpal, and metacarpophalangeal joints, and the lateral aspect of each hoof of the left and right forelimbs. Horses were filmed while trotting in a straight, level path across an asphalt surface while wearing a Sports Medicine Boot II®, again while wearing a Twenty X™ Polo Wrap, and again with the limbs untreated (control). Kinematic data was evaluated for the forelimb fetlock joint angles. Peak extension, peak flexion, and range of motion of the forelimb fetlock joints were evaluated as parameters. Velocity data was evaluated using a one-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). T-tests for left and right trials were analyzed for each horse and each of the three treatments on the forelimbs. A one-way ANOVA was performed to assess the effects of applying the treatments on the forelimb fetlock joints for each of the parameters. The results of this study indicated that use of the Sports Medicine Boot II® or the Twenty X™ Polo Wrap caused no significant change in peak extension of the fetlock joint. Use of the Sports Medicine Boot II® significantly reduced flexion in the fetlock joint when compared to the non-treated limbs and the limbs to which the Twenty X™ Polo Wrap had been applied. Range of motion in the fetlock joint was significantly decreased with the use of the Twenty X™ Polo Wrap and the Sports Medicine Boot II® when compared to the non-treated limbs. The range of motion, however, was significantly greater in the Twenty X™ Polo Wrap when compared only to the Sports Medicine Boot II®. Reduction in the range of motion of fetlock joint, however, suggests that this boot provides some support to the fetlock. This study has provided valuable kinematic data that documents the changes in the stride of horses at the trot when wearing protective leg gear.