Article

The influence of boot design on exercise associated surface temperature of tendons in horses

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Abstract

Sport horses frequently injure tendons of the lower limb. Tendon boots are commonly applied for structural support and trauma prevention during competitions. However these boots may increase heat stress in the area. Two separate studies were carried out with the aim to improve understanding of the effect of boots on heat around the tendon area. Study 1 measured heat emitted from two types of boots (traditional and perforated, cross over design) covering the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) in 4 horses during a set ridden and lunged exercise test. Study 2, a Field test, measured the effect of boot style (traditional, perforated and open fronted) on skin surface temperature in 131 horses, after completing a cross country event test (either a BE 100 three day event or a CCI* - two day short format event). The Raytek Raynger ST20 (infrared thermometer) was used to measure temperatures during both studies. Boots designed with perforations demonstrated greater heat emissions than traditional (non-perforated) boots (+ 3.5º C, p<0.01). In Study 2 mean tendon surface temperature for perforated type boots (28.0°C) was significantly lower than for traditional boots (32.3°C) and for open fronted tendon boots (31.1°C) (P<0.001). As this was an applied field study, additional environmental factors, such as speed and fitness level of horses, may have influenced results.

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Ce travail de thèse a consisté dans un premier temps à la prise de mesure morphométriques des différentes structures constituant l’extrémité distale du membre du cheval. Ces données morphométriques, récoltées sur 118 chevaux, ont permis d’apporter des informations essentielles au développement de guêtres ergonomiques adaptées à la protection des différentes structures anatomiques des membres du cheval. Ces guêtres développées seront ensuite instrumentées pour permettre l’apport de données quantifiées de la locomotion du cheval. Pour cela, le développement d’un protocole de mesure innovant, couplant des enregistrements via Motion Capture (MOCAP) et des Centrales Inertielles (IMUs), ont permis d’établir des méthodes de calculs de paramètres spatio-temporels et cinématiques à partir d’IMUs positionnées sur les canons du cheval. La détection des phases d’appui, paramètre spatio-temporel nécessaire au calcul des différents paramètres locomoteurs, a été réalisée à partir des IMUs selon quatre méthodes basées sur l’utilisation de l’accéléromètre ou du gyroscope. Ces résultats ont ensuite été utilisés pour le développement de méthodes de calcul de paramètres cinématiques tels que les angles de protraction et de rétraction des membres. L’utilisation d’IMUs positionnées sur les canons du cheval permettra d’instrumenter les guêtres afin de fournir à terme un outil au cavalier et au vétérinaire pour le suivi de paramètres locomoteurs via une application dédiée. L’utilisation de cet outil permettra ainsi d’optimiser la gestion de l’entrainement et de la récupération du cheval de sport.
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