Objective quantification of conformation of the Icelandic horse based on 3-D video morphometric measurements

Kristjansson, T.; Bjornsdottir, S.; Sigurdsson, A.; Crevier-Denoix, N.; Pourcelot, P.; Arnason, T.

Livestock Science 158(1-3): 12-23


ISSN/ISBN: 1871-1413
DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2013.09.019
Accession: 066279676

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The official breeding goal for the Icelandic horse describes an ideal conformation that should facilitate multi-gaiting riding ability. The objective of the present study was to describe and evaluate the use of a three dimensional morphometric method to objectively quantify the conformation of the Icelandic horse and to determine the distribution of conformational parameters and their intercorrelations. Selected material of 72 potential breeding horses attending breeding field tests in Iceland in the years 2008-2010 were recorded while walking in a space which was defined in three dimensions. Four video cameras were used to provide images that allow the determination of 3-D co-ordinates of anatomical landmarks by manual tracking from two or more 2-D views. A set of four video frames was chosen for each horse for two reference images (forelimb/hind limb). The measurements consisted of heights of the anatomical landmarks, segments lengths, joint angles and inclines. Their repeatability was assessed by different repeatability tests. The study described the conformation of the Icelandic horse in terms of the selected anatomical landmarks. The 3D method provided objective, repeatable data and is suitable for further studies of the correlation between the conformation and other traits as riding qualities and soundness. The method can be applied in other horse breeds. It was confirmed that the Icelandic horse has grown taller in recent years and changed from a rectangular body format to a square one. Measurements of the joint angles of the limbs revealed carpal and tarsal valgus and fetlock valgus to be frequent findings in the breed. B.V. All rights reserved.