Check out this helpful article published from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Office:
I was able to glean some useful information from the article.
Aerobic exercise (heart rates <150bpm) will utilize energy supported by the consumption of oxygen & fueled via blood glucose and fatty acids.
Anaerobic exercise (heart rates >150 bpm) will exceed the body's threshold delivery of oxygen (hence heart rates & respiration increase trying to supply the oxygen deficit) and is fueled by glucose (blood source) and glycogen (stored in the muscle and liver). Maximal heart rates of 220-260 are not beneficial to training leading to rapid fatigue, and put the equine athlete into the danger zone for injury or metabolic breakdown.
Heart rate as a training tool should be two fold. Aerobic training (LSD) consists of a work load that produces a steady heart rate of <150-170 bpm. 2 minutes post exercise pulse should be <100 bpm, 10 minutes post exercise the pulse should be < 60 bpm.
As the horse becomes fit and has completed base conditioning speedwork can be added to the training. In this case you are training for anaerobic conditioning which will require a warm up, speedwork (sprinting), and a warm down phase. Heart rate during this phase of training should be <170-190 bpm with a two minute recovery <120 bpm and a ten minute recovery of <70 bpm. If during sprint training the heart rate >190 bpm, speed MUST BE REDUCED!
The horse's heart rate should be logged at several baseline speeds. Over time you should see the horse having a lower heart rate over the same course at the same speeds as fitness improves (ie. last week the trot at 8 mph gave a heart rate of 130 bpm, this week the 8 mph trot gives a hear rate of 120 bpm). Conversely if you suddenly have a spike in heart rate you need to seriously evaluate the horse for injury as pulse is an early indicator of pain, or metabolic factors.
That was what I gleaned from it. Read the article and tell me what you think. ~E.G.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association