Harmonic analysis of equine hoof form and its matched symmetry
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This study uses elliptic Fourier analysis (EFA), an outline method of shape analysis, for describing hoof contours symmetries in the Catalan Pyrenean Horse ("Cavall Pirinenc Català", CPC), a breed from the Spanish Pyrenees. Hoof outlines of 54 limbs (26 forelimbs and 28 hindlimbs, including the same number of left and right limbs) obtained from 15 CPC horses were compared using EFA. Symmetry was assessed in right-to-left harmonic differences. There appeared no contour differences between right and left hooves. So it can be concluded that CPC presents homogenous hoof shapes and a high level of symmetry in hoof sole outline. This study is the first to describe hoof sole outline and symmetry in unshod, young CPC horses, reared under semi-extensive conditions.