Horses on course for Nikes

December 25, 1998

Horses might soon be queuing up for the latest Nike Air trainers, say researchers at De Montfort University. They are about to launch a major research programme to study the links between physical asymmetry in horses,performance and lameness, with the ultimate aim of reducing horse injuries.

"There's tons of evidence in athletes that limb length differentials of even a few millimetres can affect performance and increase injury," explained Gail Williams, head of the university's equine biomechanics research team. Thousands of pounds have been spent developing special shoes for humans to compensate, "yet racehorses are still wearing the same metal shoes they have worn for the past 200 years".

A preliminary study has shown 98 per cent of horses display some level of asymmetry, and a correlation between asymmetry and performance and injury was also found. "With horses having four legs there is even greater potential for problems," said Dr Williams. "If we can identify the horses with different limb lengths, we can manage that appropriately. One way might be shoes."

Please login or register to read this article

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments