Kinematic Characterization of the Menorca Horse at the Walk and the Trot: Influence of Hind Limb Pastern Angle

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Abstract

This paper describes the handled walking and trotting kinematics (linear, temporal, and angular traits) of 35 Menorca Purebred (MEN) stallions, and the relationships among these variables is presented for the first time, along with a discussion of the influence of the hind limb pastern angle on kinematic variables at both gaits. For data collection, all animals, aged between 3 and 10 years old and belonging to 28 different studs, were recorded under the same experimental and environmental conditions, using a three-dimensional (3D) semiautomatic movement analysis system. A total of 24 kinematic variables (temporal, linear, and angular) at the walk and the trot and a morphometric variable measured at the mid stance position of walking (hind pastern angle) were included in this analysis. Angle-time diagrams of the hind pastern angle while walking and trotting normalized to stride duration were also obtained. Generally the MEN stallions' forelimb movements closely resembled the movement characteristics of other European dressage performance breeds, while the hind limb locomotion showed a greater likeness to Iberian dressage Purebreds. Despite this, their ability in collection and propulsion at the walk and the trot was relatively low. The hind limb pastern conformation was partially connected to the hind limb movements for both gaits, with an apparently negative effect of excessively upright pasterns on the amplitude at the trot, which indirectly reduced collection ability.

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