Date on Honors Thesis

Winter 12-2022


Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Shea Porr, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Megan Taylor, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Laura Hoffman, Committee Member


Discomfort in the hocks of horses can cause lameness, resulting in poor performance. Diagnosis by veterinarians typically includes evaluating movement or use of ultrasound or radiography to evaluate tendons, ligaments, or bones. Treatment methods and times vary depending on diagnosis, but often include joint injections, medications, and stall rest. Treatments can be costly both financially and regarding time off from practice or competition. Alternative practices such as using equine kinesiology tape to support joints may improve comfort and movement for lower cost. The objective of this project was to evaluate the ease of use and effects of equine kinesiology tape application on hock joints in horses. It was hypothesized that treated horses would show fewer signs of pain as evaluated by a veterinarian, and more normal hock joint movement as assessed through biomechanical evaluation of videotaped movement. Ten riding horses owned by Murray State University and previously diagnosed with hock-related lameness were divided into control (CON, n=5) and treatment groups (TRT, n=5). Horses were evaluated by a licensed veterinarian using flexion testing and a lameness locator (Equinosis Q, Columbia, MO, USA), which uses inertial sensing technology to detect alterations in movement. Flexion testing was performed before taping (PRE, n=10), immediately after taping (IMPost, TRT only, n=5), and 4 weeks post taping (LTPost, n=10). The lameness locator was used to collect movement data on horses at PRE (n=10) and LTPost (n=9). All horses were videotaped at the trot PRE and LTPost. Recordings were analyzed using Dartfish 360 (Alpharetta, GA, USA) to measure biomechanical movement of the hock joint via stride length. Kinesiology tape was re-applied weekly for 4 weeks. Results suggest that stride length of TRT group increased compared to control.