Title: The Forelimb and Hoof Conformation in a Population of Mongolian Horses
Author: Stuart Gordon BVSc, MPhil a, Chris Rogers PhD a, Jenny Weston BVSc, PhD a, Charlotte Bolwell PhD a, Orgil Doloonjin DVM, PhD b
Keywords: Horse, Hoof, Conformation, Limb, Asymmetry
This article describes the lower limb and hoof conformation of a population of semi-feral Mongolian horses living on an open tundra/steppe environment. Data were collected from a convenience sample of 120 Mongolian horses used in the 2011 Mongolian Derby. Digital images of the hooves were obtained, and the lower limb conformation was assessed by four veterinarians involved in the screening of the horses offered for the derby. The horses were predominantly geldings (96%, 100/104), approximately 8.6 2.5 years old, and 137 8 cm at the withers. None of the horses were subjected to routine hoof trimming. Based on a 7-point linear score, lower limb conformation was
normal, with a trend (>1 linear score deviation) slightly toward carpal valgus, mildly offset cannon (third metacarpal), and valgus at the matacarpophalangeal joint. Hoof measurements were within the norm for horses of this size. Fetlock valgus was associated with a smaller hoof width:length ratio (P 1⁄4 .016). None of the other hoof measurements were significantly associated with abnormal conformation scores. Overall, few conformation abnormalities were observed, and hoof shape and size was within the normal expected range for horses of this size. The hoof conformation in this population of Mongolian horses represented the natural interaction of the hoof with the environment.