The aim of the present study is to evaluate the intra-articular pressure in horses with distal forelimbs chronic lameness in order to obtain indication about the diagnostic significance of pressure variations. Fifty-six distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint of the forelimbs of 36 horses were investigated by a clinical and radiographic examination and by measuring the pressure with a hand held digital manometer. Forty coffin joints of sound horses were used as a control. The pick pressure was registered for each articulation. The middle pressure measured with the sound horse bearing weight on both limbs was 36.8 mmHg +/-16.0 and 69.6 mmHg +/- 27.3 when the contralateral was lift up. For the diseased horse the middle pressure measured in the two position was 66.5 mmHg +/-7.6 and 132.8 mmHg +/- 43.3 respectively. This result indicates that intra-articular pressure values of the coffin joint are higher in horses with a painful condition of the distal portion of the fore foot. Anyway, our ranges resulted higher than whose indicated in other reports. No correlation have been found between articular pressure and kind of radiographic changes of the DIP joint or of the distal sesamoid bone. Pressure measurement could be considered a useful aid to localize a pathologic condition involving the DIP joint or the navicular bone, but the technique shows some limitation: it seems to be more reliable for diagnosis with both limbs weight bearing because low specificity arises with the contralateral lifted up. No weight, breed or attitude differences were detected among sound horses. No complications have been reported neither during the examinations nor through the follow-up . Pressure measurement is an easy, safe, useful and relatively cheap procedure that doesn't need of the horse hospitalization.