A pressure-sensitive device was developed to measure the force applied to flexion tests of the distal limb of horses. The mean force applied by a group of experienced clinicians was 150 N which results in a moment on the flexed fetlock joint of about 28.5 Nm. The coefficient of variation of the force applied by one experienced clinician was only about 12 per cent, but the coefficient of variation between clinicians was considerably higher (20 per cent), irrespective of whether the clinicians were considered to be experienced or not. The mean force applied by a group of women examiners (114 N) was significantly lower than that applied by the group of male examiners. It is concluded that the flexion test used in the clinical examination of the locomotor system of the horse should be better standardised.
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