Developing training programs to prevent injury in young racehorses

  • Published: 3 Nov 2014

  • Author(s): Kidd, Lisa

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Shin soreness, or dorsal metacarpal disease is a condition of pain and swelling over the dorsal aspect of the third metacarpal bone (cannon bone). It is one of the most common causes of wastage in the Thoroughbred industry (Cogger et al., 2006). An improved understanding of the mechanisms contributing to shin soreness, and development of optimal training techniques that may reduce the risk of shin soreness have the potential for significant beneficial impacts for the racing industry, both financially and for the welfare of the horses.

This project investigated the effects of exercise accumulation and age on bone adaptation in young horses exercised on a high-speed treadmill. The purpose was to better understand the level of high-speed exercise that may induce positive adaptation in the third metacarpal bone without inducing fatigue injury in young horses.