Faculty Advisor

Savilonis, Brian J.


The constant impact loading, due to horseracing, can be detrimental to the health of the limbs of the horse. This loading may result in various short-term and long-term injuries. To reduce bodily damage, it is desirable to implement an effective, yet economic horseshoe and horseshoe paddling design. In order to design such a device, a mathematical model was created. This model analyzes the forces associated with the loading found on the forelimbs of horses during racing. Mohr's Circle was used to calculate the stresses associated with the horse's leg. This model assisted in the development of design concepts. The chosen ideal design concept started with a conventional, aluminum shoe. A thin layer (0.125 inches) of polyurethane was then placed below the horse's hoof and above the horseshoe. This horseshoe will then be affixed to the horse's hoof using the common procedure (nailed). Polyurethane was chosen for its viscoelastic and mechanical properties. By choosing polyurethanes, the forces and stresses experience[d] by the forelimb of the horse are reduced by approximately 55 percent.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2004


Biomedical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering