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Boots on horses: limb protection or hyperflexion training aids in the showjumping horse. (Special Issue: Equitation science.)

By J. Murphy

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Abstract

Showjumping riders regularly employ various schooling strategies to control the horse's jump stride kinematics (JSK). Strategies include plyometric training regimes with fences of different heights and widths set at specific distances. Gymnastic grids teach the horse to jump cleanly. Rapping, once used almost routinely, is no longer in vogue. However, the use of performance enhancing (PE) boots on the distal hind limbs to alter equine JSK has become popular. There are two broad categories of PE boots: weighted and pressure. Some riders use so-called weighted boots on the horses' hind limbs during training and in competition to improve the jump stride. The application of so-called pressure boots may be little more than an adaptation of this technique. It appears that the PE boots induce hyperflexion of the hind limbs and incline the horse to jump fences cleanly. In the absence of scientific appraisal, it is unclear if such boots are acceptable and innovative training aids within equitation.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 11
Issue 3
Pages 223-227
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888700802100975
Language English
Author Address School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield Dublin 4, Irish Republic.Jack.Murphy@ucd.ie
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Tags
  1. Animals
  2. Feet
  3. Horses
  4. Kinematics
  5. Limbs
  6. Mammals
  7. peer-reviewed
  8. Protection
  9. training
  10. ungulates
  11. vertebrates
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  1. peer-reviewed