Equine Immobilization with a Limb Restraint System

by Cai, Wei

Abstract (Summary)
Mobility of the horse to initiate motion from the standing position is examined in this thesis. In particular, the thesis focuses on the study of the mobility of a horse with fixed hooves to the ground, and on how its musculoskeletal system is used to free the legs from restraints. Possible leg patterns to initiate motions are investigated. The breaking forces generated at front and hind hooves during static-pulling and dynamic jerking are evaluated. Design of the restraint system that uses ropes to immobilize certain joints in order to prevent the horse from generating these forces is the main objective of this thesis. Such a system could be applied as an alternative to rather massive mechanical devices, the main purpose of which is to block the breaking forces (which are quite large when fully developed).

Analysis of the mobility of the horse is based on the mechanics of a skeletal linkage system driven by muscle forces. Only major muscles involved in fighting the restraints are included in the analysis. The force generation capability of a muscle is determined by physiological cross sectional area (PCSA) of the muscle. Possible leg patterns are predicted with the kinematics analysis considering range of motion at each joint in the legs. Corresponding breaking forces generated in each pattern is evaluated with the kinetics analysis. Relationship between the characteristic parameter of the pattern and the breaking force at hoof are established.

The horse's computer model is used to justify the analytical result. Fighting mechanisms of the horse are simulated in the dynamic simulation software package. Patterns and the breaking forces developed by the horse model simulation agree well with the analytical results. To the authors best knowledge, this is the first time a computer model is used in analyzing the method of restraining an animal.

The mobility of the animal with hoof restraints and methods to remove mobility were further confirmed with a preliminary animal restraint test conducted on a sheep. The sheep was chosen because the leg patterns to initiate motion on a horse are similar to that of sheep, but the sheep is more convenient to handle. The experiment showed that the mobility of the sheep could be removed completely by restraining its hooves, lower legs, and head with easily attached ropes.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Szyszkowski, Walerian; Chapman, Dean; Burton, Richard T.; Adams, Gregg P.

School:University of Saskatchewan

School Location:Canada - Saskatchewan

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:joint restraints breaking force immobilization standing horse mobility


Date of Publication:06/14/2007

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