Electrical Stimulation to Improve Horse Leg Stability

  • 38 pages

  • Published: 10 Oct 2011

  • Author(s): Nicholls, Rochelle L.

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Lameness and orthopaedic injuries are a significant source of wastage within the horse industry, accounting for up to 68 % of lost training time. Injuries to the carpal joint in the forelimb, including ligament injuries and fractures can occur as a result of acute or chronic overload and may have serious consequences for the long-term health and performance of affected horses.

This RIRDC report describes the design and early testing of an elasticised sleeve to fit the carpal joint of the equine forelimb. The sleeve features embedded electric motors which stimulate the skin and soft tissues with a low level of vibration. Biomechanical tests on trotting horses indicate the use of the sleeve reduces internal compressive loading at the carpal joint during gait.

This report will be of interest to equine veterinarians, physical therapy practitioners, trainers, and those with an interest in reduction of the industry costs associated with carpal joint injuries.