by Maarten Oosterlinck

Subtle lameness inUntitled horses may be difficult to diagnose and methods to evaluate lameness objectively are useful when equine clinicians fail to reach a consensus. Several human gait analysis methods have been adapted for equine use, but there is an ongoing quest for a system that could provide the equine veterinarian with objective data in a clinical environment. Pressure measuring equipment could overcome major issues inherent to other quantitative methods, or could provide information complementing data obtained with other modalities. However, thus far detailed studies regarding its precision and accuracy are lacking.

This PhD thesis explores the use of pressure plate analysis for the objective analysis of equine locomotion. After investigating the precision and accuracy of the footscan® system for the evaluation of limb loading and symmetry, its unique capacity to simultaneously analyze limb loading and hoof contact area is demonstrated and finally applied in the evaluation of therapeutic farriery.