Why monitoring your horse’s heart rate is important
Heart rate is the most reliable indicator of your horse’s condition when used before, during, and after exercise. Since the cardiovascular system is responsible for delivering blood to the muscles and removing by-products of metabolism, it is central to the horse’s musculoskeletel system’s ability to function.
In other words: The heart is the engine that makes the horse run!
When using a heart rate monitor as a fitness indicator, consistent record keeping is a must. Over time, decisions to alter intensity, duration, or type of exercise to further the fitness level of the horse can be based on changes in heart rate. It allows comparisons of several horses, as well as showing an individual horse’s progress during successive workouts. Most heart rate monitors have instructions regarding record keeping for evaluation. Depending on the one you choose, you may be able to transmit data to your computer or you may need to keep notes.
Currently, researchers and trainers are analyzing how to best use heart rate monitors to assess the potential of horses selected for performance. Certainly, the heart rate monitor is a valuable tool for analyzing heart rate, speed and distance, and tailoring your horse’s training program to optimize conditioning. In addition, use of a heart rate monitor serves as a reliable indicator of injury or illness.
Keeping records is essential for any conditioning program you implement. Below are links to printable files that you can download and print to help you keep records.
Submitted by EquiMed Staff