Physiological monitoring of equine athletes

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With over 20 years of experience in physiological evaluation, EQUI-TEST has one of the largest equine training databases.

Principles of physiological evaluation

The principle of a physiological evaluation is to measure the cardiac and metabolic responses of an organism during a standardized exercise. This exercise is obviously adapted to the sporting discipline. The data: speed, heart rate and blood lactate are the basics of a track test.

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Assessment of endurance potential

This response to the exercise is interpreted by correlating the three measured variables. For example, V200 corresponds to the speed for a heart rate of 200 bpm and V4 to the speed for a lactatemia of 4 mmol / l. These two criteria are very predictive of the stamina potential of a horse.

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Fitness assessment

Physiological parameters are interpreted according to the age, training level and potential of each horse. Their longitudinal monitoring allows to objectively measure the improvement of physical condition and the correct response to the training provided.

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Training load assessment

Knowing the different metabolic thresholds (aerobic / anaerobic) makes it possible to quantify the level of fatigue induced by each type of session. Training can thus be individualized according to the abilities, level of fitness and objectives to be achieved.

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Training planning

Depending on the individual sports objectives and the target periods of training, training planning makes it possible to respect fundamental aspects of training such as regularity, the progressiveness of the increase in training load and or even the variability of that same training load during the season.

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Prevent injury and overtraining

Under-training and overtraining are major risk factors for injury in athletes. Quantifying the workload is one of the means of preventing horse training pathologies (mainly locomotor) and also of limiting medications

They witness

My stable hosts the practical part of the training organized by Equi-Test and I was a beta-tester during the creation of Waook. I use the tests mainly to assess young horses and also sometimes to check the intensity of certain heavy sessions.

I met Claire over 20 years ago during a protocol on the benefits of massage after exercise in horses. Since then, I have participated in various Equi-Test studies but also with other research structures such as Cirale. The physiological measurements give interesting information on the intensity of the sessions which depends a lot on the track on which the horses are trained and helped me to specify the level of effort required of my residents.

I regularly participate in Equi-Test studies because it is interesting to test new feeds and especially to measure the capacities of young horses in terms of cardio and lactates. The test results are really predictive of what they can do and especially what they cannot do, even if the mind is another important factor.

I use heart rate monitors every day to train my horses. They are trained individually for endurance work and by 2 or 3 horses for speed work in order to motivate them. To adjust the working heart rates, horses are tested fairly regularly to check the relationship between heart rate and lactates. These tests are really interesting to assess the stamina potential of the yearlings from the start of their training, to follow their real progress and also to check the level of preparation of the older horses.