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Tendonitis in the Superficial Digital Flexor Tendon

Equine athletes are under a tremendous amount of stress in their limbs which often leads to various lameness issues. One of the most common injuries is tendonitis, specifically of the superior digital flexor tendon (SDFT). Tendons are responsible for connecting and transferring the force from muscles to bones. The SDFT specifically stretches from below the knee or hock to the pastern bone (see figure 1) and is under considerable loading stress, especially in disciplines involving high speeds or jumping, such as Three-Day Eventing.

The Evaluation and Training of Equine Western Pleasure

Equines in this country are commonly used for competitive show events or leisure recreational activities. It has been a long-time tradition for people to own horses and participate in various activities via horseback. Over the years, the number and variety of events offered for horses to compete in have expanded. The specific event an animal competes in determines the intensity of exercise and particular conditioning/training program the animal athlete needs to have put in place. Equine animals are very similar to human athletes as they must be conditioned and trained to participate and excel in their physical performance. Specifically, a very popular equine competition event that requires moderate intensity, medium duration exercise is western pleasure.