R. Bras. Zootec.. 01/Jan/2017;46(1):25-32.
Morphometric measurements and animal-performance indices in a study of racial forms of Brazilian Sport Horses undergoing training for eventing
This study aimed to evaluate, in a practical manner, the use of linear and angular measurements and different animal-performance indices in a study on the breed-specific conformation of Brazilian Sport Horses training for eventing. These data can form the basis for the development of future studies based on the parameters evaluated and the calculations made. Seventeen Brazilian Sport Horses training for eventing were selected. Morphometric evaluations were made of all animals using linear and angular measurements. The linear measurements were withers, croup, and barrel heights; body, croup, shoulder, neck, and head lengths; head, chest, and hip widths; distance from the elbow to the ground and from the sternum to the ground (empty substernal); and thorax, forearm, knee, fetlock, and fore cannon girths. The angular measurements were shoulder-ground, shoulder-humerus, humerus-radius, metacarpus-phalanx, coxae-ground, coxae-femur, femur-tibia, and tibia-metatarsus angles. Thirteen animal-performance indices were calculated to have a better understanding of the conformation of the animals and their proportions: the relationship between the withers and croup heights, chest index, dactyl-thoracic index, estimated weight, body index, thoracic index, conformation index, load index 1, load index 2, relative body index, compactness index 1, compactness index 2, and meloscopic index. Brazilian Sport Horses in eventing training were within the expected conformation for an athletic horse, but the animal-performance indices differed among them because they are heterogeneous horses resulting from crossing among various different breeds. The use of linear and angular measurements allows the correct characterization of racial forms of Brazilian Sport Horses undergoing training for eventing. Animal-performance indices can be useful in a study of a breed-specific conformation of athletic horses.